James William Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, actor, and businessman. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett has recorded hit songs including "Margaritaville" (ranked 234th on the Recording Industry Association of America's list of "Songs of the Century") and "Come Monday". He has a devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads".
Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling writer and is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best-known songs; he owns the Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain and co-developed the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chain. Buffett is one of the world's richest musicians, with a net worth of $550 million.
Buffett was born on Christmas Day 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and spent part of his childhood in Mobile, Alabama. He later lived in Fairhope, Alabama. He is the son of Mary Lorraine (née Peets) and James Delaney Buffett, Jr. During his grade school years, he attended St. Ignatius School, where he played the trombone in the school band. As a child he was exposed to sailing through his grandfather and these experiences would go on to influence his later music. He graduated from McGill Institute for Boys in 1964. He began playing guitar during his first year at Auburn University before continuing his college years at Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1969. He is an initiate of Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Southern Mississippi. After graduating from college, Buffett worked as a correspondent for Billboard magazine in Nashville, breaking the news of the separation of Flatt and Scruggs.