Jimmy Buffett’s signature song “Margaritaville,” among his many classics, returns to the Billboard Hot 100 this week, re-entering at No. 38 on the Sept. 16-dated ranking. It reached No. 8 in July 1977 and had last appeared on the chart dated Aug. 27, 1977.

Meanwhile, Buffett posthumously boasts the week’s top-selling song with the single, as well as the top-selling album, Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s).

As previously reported, the singer-songwriter died Sept. 1 at age 76. As announced on his website and social media accounts, “Jimmy passed away on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the Sept. 2 post reads. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”

“Margaritaville” contributes to Buffett’s big week on multiple Billboard charts, as fans flocked to his trademark feel-good sound following his death. In the Sept. 1-7 tracking week, his song catalog surged by 1,476% to 78.6 million official on-demand streams and 7,022% to 103,000 paid downloads in the U.S., according to Luminate. His albums collectively soared by 2,378% to 109,000 equivalent album units in that span. Further, his all-format radio airplay audience bounded by 338% to 21.2 million.

‘Margaritaville’ & More on Song Charts

“Margaritaville” gained by 720% to 8.1 million streams; 954% to 1.9 million in airplay audience among Hot 100-reporting stations; and 8,415% to 16,000 sold in the tracking week. It re-enters as Buffett’s first No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart and at No. 41 on Streaming Songs. It’s also No. 1 on Country Digital Song Sales and Rock Digital Song Sales and No. 10 on Rock Streaming Songs and No. 17 on Country Streaming Songs.

Before this week, Buffett last charted on the Hot 100 dated Oct. 8, 2011, as featured on Zac Brown Band’s No. 18-peaking “Knee Deep,” the most recent of 13 songs, including seven top 40 hits, that he sent onto the survey during his lifetime.

Along with its Hot 100 re-entry, “Margaritaville” places at No. 7 on Hot Rock Songs, No. 9 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and No. 14 on Hot Country Songs, all of which share the Hot 100’s multimetric methodology.

Alan Jackson and Buffett’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” also re-enters Hot Country Songs, at No. 22, with 6.1 million streams (up 346%), 2.3 million in airplay audience (up 66%) and 7,000 sold (up 3,543%). The song dominated the chart for eight weeks in 2003.

Plus, Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” from 1978, hits Hot Rock Songs at No. 19 and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs at No. 22, with 4.5 million streams (up 1,454%), 554,000 in radio reach (up from a nominal sum) and 6,000 sold (up 5,402%).

With 12 Buffett titles on the latest Digital Song Sales chart, here’s a recap:

  • No. 1, “Margaritaville,” 16,000 sold
  • No. 3, “Come Monday,” 14,000
  • No. 6, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” with Alan Jackson, 7,000
  • No. 8, “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” 6,000
  • No. 10, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” 6,000
  • No. 11, “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” 5,000
  • No. 15, “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” 4,000
  • No. 26, “Fins,” 3,000
  • No. 38, “Southern Cross (Live),” 2,000
  • No. 44, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk,” 1,900
  • No. 46, “Volcano,” 1,700
  • No. 48, “Brown Eyed Girl (Live),” 1,700

‘Greatest Hit(s)’ & ‘Ballads’ on Album Charts

On the Billboard 200, Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s), featuring “Margaritaville” (as referenced in the set’s wry title), re-enters at No. 4, up 2,106% to 52,000 equivalent album units Sept. 1-7, according to Luminate. Released in 1985, the album previously peaked at No. 100 that year. The collection also holds the No. 2 spot on Top Country Albums, Top Rock & Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums and Americana/Folk Albums. With 15,000 copies sold, it re-enters Top Album Sales at No. 1, ranking as the week’s top-selling album among all genres.

Additionally, Boats Beaches Bars & Ballads, Buffett’s best-of release from 1992 that includes rarities and previously unreleased songs, re-enters the Billboard 200 at a new No. 53 high, with 15,000 units (up 4,750%). It’s also No. 11 on Top Rock Albums and No. 15 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums.

“I’m glad I got 50 years of albums in me,” the Billboard alum mused in 2020. “This thing’s been an absolute joy. We’ve figured out ways to keep it going. I think it’s really about learning to be a performer before anything else and always trying to better yourself on stage. That’s the key, that core experience, and what’s kept me going. It’s been a good run.”

Gary Trust
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