Jimmy Buffett had been fighting Merkel Cell Skin Cancer for four years prior to his death at age 76 on Friday, Sept. 1, according to a post on his official website.

Merkel cell carcinoma, also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, is a rare but aggressive type of skin cancer. "While experts aren't sure what exactly causes it, you're more likely to get it if you've had long-term sun exposure, are over 50 years old, or if your immune system is weak," explains WebMD. "Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year, but that number is increasing."

A Cancer Battle Didn't Keep Buffett From Playing Live

Although Buffett had been forced to postpone several concerts due to then-unspecified health reasons in 2022 and 2023, the singer's official website notes that the "Margaritaville" singer, who parlayed his leisure-celebrating music and image into a massive lifestyle brand, continued to play live while receiving medical treatment. "Growing old is not for sissies," Buffett joked when announcing the latter postponement.

On July 2, 2023 Buffett made an unannounced guest appearance at his friend Mac McAnally's show. What was supposed to be a two-song collaboration instead turned into a 45-minute tour through classics such as "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" and "A Pirate Looks at Forty." It would be the last time Buffett performed live.

Rock's Biggest Stars Remember Jimmy Buffett

News of Buffett's death sent shockwaves though the music community, with some of rock's biggest stars penning unusually long and detailed social media tributes to their friend. "Right up to the last minute his eyes still twinkled with a humour that said, 'I love this world and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it,'" Paul McCartney declared.

"The first time I met Jimmy he said, 'Oh, you're the guy that's trying to get my job,'" Sammy Hagar recalled. "I said, 'Of course, we all want to be you.'"

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