Key West holds parade to honor legendary singer Jimmy Buffett

KEY WEST, Fla. – Key West honored well-renowned singer Jimmy Buffett on Sunday with a procession down Duval Street.

Buffett was known by some as the Pirate Laureate of the Florida Keys who perfected that laid-back beach bum sound.

Fellow crooner Kenny Chesney was in town to honor Buffett. Before the parade, he strummed a rendition of ‘A Pirate Looks at Forty’ on the beach as a tribute.

The island town made an impression on the Mississippi-born singer, and signs of him are everywhere.

A growing memorial formed at Buffett’s recording studio by the water, with toasts on his behalf going up at the Chart Room, where he played some of his earliest songs.

“When he sang those songs, he was singing to us, which is absolutely magnificent because it gives us permission to be us,” said Key West resident Jean Sottin.

Paul Menta, chef and owner of Key West Legal Rum, helped tally the crowds of hundreds.

“We want to show love to the family. The whole world is watching Key West,” Menta said.

Buffett was dealing with Merkel Cell skin cancer for the last four years and passed away on Friday night, surrounded by loved ones.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.