Jimmy Buffett is a Billionaire

Micah Ward
4 min readJul 8, 2023

But some people complain that he sold out.

Photo by stevosdisposable on Unsplash

Forbes magazine, the official scorekeeper of these things, says that Jimmy Buffett is a billionaire. Yep, that’s billionaire with a capital B.

The Mayor of Margaritaville has entered that rarified air breathed only by those whom Bernie Sanders refers to when he is on an anti — billionaire tirade. Bernie used to rant and rave against “millionaires and billionaires” but now that he is one of the former, he only hell hacks the later.

But I digress.

Jimmy Buffett is indeed a billionaire and I say good for him. But I have heard some criticize him for “selling out”. Let’s consider this idea of “selling out”.

Whenever I think of that idea, I envision an artist that has abandoned a deep philosophical truth or the excellence of their art in order to cash in on money. They sacrifice their enlightenment and produce a lesser product simply to obtain more of the filthy lucre.

But Buffett? Not so much.

Now, please do not think that I am bashing Buffett. On the contrary, I have been a Jimmy Buffett fan since 1974 when I first heard Come Monday on my car’s AM radio. I rushed out and bought all the Buffett eight tracks I could find and completely emersed myself in his music. It is not an exaggeration to say that it helped set the course for the rest of my life.

I still listen to Buffett on a daily basis. Songs such as Havana Daydreamin’ and A Pirate Looks at Forty are among the best songs I’ve ever heard. But let’s be honest. He also wrote Cheeseburger in Paradise and Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw.

We’re not talking Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan level songwriting here.

No, Buffett did not sell out. Buffett capitalized. And why is that a bad thing? Is it more noble to be a starving artist than a rich artist? At least a rich artist can donate millions of dollars to various charities as he has.

Buffett wrote a simple song titled Margaritaville and in doing so launched not only a business empire but a mindset and philosophy that some of us find absolutely irresistible. He gave all of us 9 to 5 working stiffs an image of tropical beaches, frosty libations and sailboats cruising into the setting…

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Micah Ward

Micah is a retiree who writes, runs, prays and enjoys craft beer in the rolling hills of central Tennessee. He goes to the ocean when he can.