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Jimmy Buffett

After failing to make it in Nashville, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett enjoyed his best record sales from 1973 to 1978 after he'd moved to Key West and embraced the joys of the tropical surf-sand-and-sailing lifestyle. Considerably cannier than your average beach bum (not wholly surprising, as he's distantly related to financial wizard Warren Buffett), the Southern boy parlayed the success of such albums as A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, and Son of a Son of a Sailor -- particularly the classic party rockers "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" -- into a veritable good-time empire, with an aloha-shirted brigade of fervent fans known as Parrotheads who flocked to his annual summer tours with the Coral Reefer Band long after his record sales had waned and have kept him on Fortune's list of top-earning entertainers for decades. (Not content to rely entirely on the vicissitudes of pop music, Buffett has also launched successful nightclub and clothing ventures and written some best-selling books.) An outspoken environmental activist, he lives in Palm Beach, Florida, and can always be counted on to deliver a great show when he goes out on tour.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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