Watch: Jimmy Buffett’s Final Performance

Jimmy Buffett’s final performance was at his happy place—on the water. In July 2023, Buffett made a surprise appearance at Mac McAnally’s show in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. McAnally, a longtime member of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, invited the legend to perform two of his biggest hits during his waterfront, outdoor show at Sunset Cove.

Videos by American Songwriter

McAnally was in the middle of a cover of Buffett and Alan Jackson’s breezy hit duet, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” when he got to the penultimate line, At a moment like this / I can’t help but wonder / What would Jimmy Buffett do? That’s when Buffett emerged onto the stage, the mostly-seated crowd flying to its feet in excited applause. “I would come play for you,” Buffett said in response to the lyrics.

Picking up a guitar, Buffett helped sing the chorus alongside McAnally and the crowd that was engaged in a lively sing-a-long. “Well, it is good to see an audience, let me tell you,” Buffett professed by the performance end. He remained onstage to perform another one of his signature hits, “Margaritaville,” which had the crowd continuing to sing and chant along.

“Mac got ahold of me and said ‘Jimmy’s reached out and wants to come up and do a couple of songs, what do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s find a way to make it happen,'” Sunset Cove Owner Mike MacFarlane explained to CBS Boston about how the “very impromptu” performance came about, praising Buffett as “genuine, sincere, humble.” “I was in awe. You can’t make that up. The ‘wow’ factor was unbelievable.”

Prior to his appearance in Portsmouth, Buffett was a surprise guest at a concert by some of the other members of his band in Amagansett, New York, in June 2011. He performed his final full concert at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California, in May 2023 where Jason Mraz was a special guest.

The singer died on September 1 at the age of 76 following a four-year bout with a rare form of skin cancer. “Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs,” his family shared in a statement. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Leave a Reply

How Did Kendrick Lamar Save ScHoolboy Q’s Life?