The unexpected death of music legend Jimmy Buffett on September 1, 2023, hit his friends and fans hard — including Hallmark star Wes Brown. The actor and musician, who just announced he’ll release his first full-length Christmas album in November, took to social media on Labor Day to share his grief over Buffett’s death, caused by skin cancer.
Posting a black and white photo on Instagram of Buffett happily raising his glass at a get-together, Brown wrote, “This one hurts. Instagram is mostly a happy place, people in the best light, best vacations, best life, etc…… but this post hurts. But I wanted to share.”
Brown then shared a conversation he recently had about what a gifted songwriter Buffett was and how he inspired his own music, and then passed along a message for fans from Buffett’s family. Here’s what you need to know:
Wes Brown Shares Poignant Memory & Message From Jimmy Buffett’s Sister
In his post, Brown shared a conversation he had with a Nashville producer “years ago” about what an underappreciated songwriter Buffett was, ranking him among songwriting greats like James Taylor. Though he’s best known for upbeat hits like “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Buffett’s library of tunes includes so many lesser-known, deeply meaningful songs, Brown and the producer agreed.
Brown then wrote, “Point is……had Buffett’s lighter stuff hit and JT’s upbeat music outshined his sentimental ones……we could’ve had a future that was a throw down party with James Taylor and an “Evening with Jimmy Buffett” Both incredible artist. Known for different things. He was so much more than the hits.”
“I make my living as a storyteller,” Brown continued. “No one did it like him. 29 studio albums. Some of the greatest songs you’ll ever hear buried in them. A wonderful author. Exceptional businessman. And a wonderful family man. He truly lived life like a song. A true artist. A true poet. And a little bit of a pirate. A man who turned his lifestyle and artistry into a profession.”
Brown then shared a special message with fans from Buffett’s family.
“I texted with his sister yesterday,” Brown revealed. “One thing I will share. She said Jimmy was clear that the party, the music, and living the good life is to always continue. And it will again be a good day. But for today. It’s a sad one.”
Brown added, “But I will take his advice and also the words from another favorite…….Breathe In. Breathe Out. Move On. Jimmy Buffett. This world was better with you in it. Thanks for everything.”
In response to Brown’s heartfelt post, fellow Hallmark star Nikki DeLoach wrote, “Such a beautiful tribute, my friend.”
Wes Brown Shares Favorite Jimmy Buffett Songs, Including Unreleased Tune
In his Instagram Stories, Brown shared several of his favorite Buffett songs accompanied by photos of the music legend and one of himself in a Jimmy Buffet t-shirt. Among the songs he shared were Buffett’s hit “Come Monday,” the instrumental tune “Banana Wind,” and “A Lot To Drink About.”
Brown also posted audio from Radio Margaritaville’s morning show, which premiered a new, unreleased song by Buffett on September 3. Buffett had planned to include on a new album to be released later this year. The song, called “Bubbles Up,” is about weathering life’s storms, focusing on what truly matters in life, and never feeling alone.
In the song’s chorus, Buffett sings, “Bubbles up / They will point you towards home / No matter how deep or how far you roam / They will show you the surface, the plot and the purpose / So when the journey gets long / just know that you are love, there is light up above, and that joy is always enough / Bubbles up.”
Over the touching audio clip, Brown wrote, “Jimmy’s newest song from his upcoming album. I’m not crying, you’re crying.”
One of Brown’s Hallmark colleagues, Ryan Paevey, also paid tribute to Buffett over the holiday weekend. Paevey, whose new movie “Fourth Down and Love” premieres September 9 on Hallmark Channel, posted a black and white throwback photo of Buffett on Instagram.
“Never met a margarita i didn’t like,” Paevey wrote. “Rest in peace Jimmy…thanks for takin it easy and the great soundtrack. Hope your toes are in the sand and there’s a tall strong drink in your hand, and ya found that lost shaker of salt. : )”
“Heart broken this morning hearing of Jimmy Buffett’s passing,” Shelton wrote. “What an incredible talent and man. His songs will live on forever.”