Country superstar and former “American Idol” judge Keith Urban paused during his concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to pay tribute to music legend Jimmy Buffett, calling his death on September 1, 2023, at “huge loss.”
Saying he was “shocked” to hear the news, Urban revealed he and Buffett, who was 76, were friends. In fact, before singing two of Buffett’s classic hits, Urban shared photos and stories from an evening he and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, spent having dinner and playing music with Buffett and his wife, Jane Slagsvol, on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.
Keith Urban Honors Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Incredible Legacy’
On September 3, Urban posted video of his touching tribute from the previous night’s concert.
“I want to take a second to acknowledge the passing of an incredible musician, Jimmy Buffett,” he said, prompting the crowd to cheer. “I was shocked today to hear about that.”
When he heard the news, Urban said he was “immediately thinking about a time that we got to go down to St. Barts and we got an invite from Jimmy to go down and have dinner with him and his wife.”
“When we were down there,” Urban continued, turning his attention to photos on the screen behind him, “Jimmy said to me ‘Man, you should grab your guitar. There’s a bar in town and I’m sure if we take our guitars they’ll let us sit in.’ So, here’s me and Jimmy carrying our guitars down the street in St. Barts and we go to this cool bar and we sang a couple of songs.”
Pointing to the photos, “My wife was with me, of course. There’s Jimmy and Nic right there. And Janie.”
Kidman had also shared the photos that day in her Instagram Stories, as seen in Hello Magazine, and added, “Remembering the good times 🤍🌸 You will be missed xx”
Before breaking into song, Urban added, “Such an honor to know him and a huge loss, but an incredible legacy of music he’s left behind.”
Keith Urban Thrills Fans by Covering Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hits
Urban paid tribute to Buffett by playing some of his hits over the weekend. After his September 2 storytelling, he played part of Buffett’s hit song “Come Monday,” saying that it was one of the first songs he learned to play on guitar. After singing the words “and I just want you back by my side” Urban added, “Yes, I do, Jimmy.”
Urban then launched into Buffett’s biggest hit, “Margaritaville,” which resulted in a big sing-along with the crowd.
The country star played “Margaritaville” the next night, too, during his concert in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as seen in footage captured by photographer Guy Aye.
At the end of the tune, Urban ad-libbed, “It’s gonna be a different world without Jimmy Buffett in it no more” and then added, “Rest in peace, Jimmy, we love you brother!”
A statement on Buffett’s website and social media accounts announced the news of his death on September 2.
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” the statement said. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”