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Jimmy Buffett dies from rare and aggressive skin cancer

Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 02, 2023

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett passed away Friday evening due to Merkel cell cancer.

Merkel cell carcinoma is very rare and tends to spread quickly, including to parts of the body beyond the skin, according to the federal National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic.

Saturday, people on Fort Myers Beach reacted to the news and remembered the icon's career.

"The music, the great vibes that he created, the relaxed beach lifestyle," said Fort Myers resident James Moroz of the legacy Buffett left behind.

"You instantly think of the beach life," said another resident, Larry Dortch.

Not only is his lifestyle reflected in Southwest Florida, but his business will be, too, as Fort Myers beach is soon to be home to one of Buffett's famous Margaritaville resorts.

"What a shame he wasn't here to see it in person, but he'll definitely be here in spirit," said Dortch.

Buffett played his final Florida shows in Key West and Hollywood this February as part of his Second Wind Tour.

His SiriusXM radio station, Radio Margaritaville, paid tribute to his career and particularly his time on Florida with a special tribute show Saturday. The station highlighted memorable concerts in Key West and played unreleased music from Buffett.

"He's always upbeat and uplifting," Fort Myers resident Loren Merrigan said. "Once you start hearing [his songs], the words come back to you. You start singing and it's really exciting... Jimmy Buffett's name will probably go on like Elvis' name."