We Explore Jimmy Buffett’s Relationship With The Artists That Honored Him During The CMAs
via Jimmy Buffett Official / Youtube
Jimmy Buffett’s music has always been interlaced with country elements, even before his shift towards more tropical sounds. He kickstarted his career in Nashville in 1970, releasing albums that reflected his country roots before delving into Gulf-driven tunes and building an extensive trop-rock catalog.
Throughout his journey, Buffett’s ties to country music remained evident through his collaborations and songs. He co-wrote hits like “Happiness Alone” for Clint Black and engaged in musical ventures with Martina McBride and Toby Keith, even creating the theme song for Blake Shelton’s show.
During the 57th Annual CMA Awards, a heartfelt tribute to Buffett was led by Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, and his Coral Reefer bandmate Mac McAnally, honoring the late artist’s legacy through a medley of his beloved tracks.
Let’s delve deeper into Buffett’s collaborations with these artists who paid homage to him at the 2023 CMA Awards.
1. Alan Jackson
In 2003, Alan Jackson teamed up with Jimmy Buffett for the hit song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” which not only celebrated the idea of day drinking but also soared to the top of the country music charts. This collaboration became a cultural sensation, earning both artists widespread recognition and numerous awards, including the coveted CMA for Vocal Event of the Year. The song’s success marked a significant milestone in Buffett’s extensive career, securing his first CMA award after three decades in the music industry.
2. Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney’s admiration for Jimmy Buffett resulted in a profound musical kinship. Their collaborations extended beyond mere song covers, encompassing joint ventures like “License To Chill.” Beyond the music, their shared experiences, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, deepened their connection. Chesney’s album, inspired by the impact of the devastating hurricane, carried echoes of Buffett’s profound understanding of island life, highlighting the timeless relevance of Buffett’s musical narratives.
3. Zac Brown Band
The Zac Brown Band’s collaboration with Jimmy Buffett on “Knee Deep” not only showcased a Buffett-inspired storyline of escapism and rejuvenation but also proved to be a chart-topping success. The song’s narrative, akin to something Buffett might have penned, was further enriched by Buffett’s guest vocals, elevating it to the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Their connection with Buffett not only transformed the track into a hit but also solidified a musical bond that transcended genres.
4. Mac McAnally
As a long-time member of the Coral Reefer Band, Mac McAnally shared a profound bond with Jimmy Buffett, contributing significantly to their musical collaborations. Their partnership extended beyond creating music, notably culminating in the posthumous album Equal Strain On All Parts, a touching tribute to Buffett’s grandfather. McAnally’s involvement in co-writing and producing seven of the album’s tracks, including the title track, underscored the personal and familial significance woven into the album’s fabric. The album became a platform for McAnally to honor Buffett’s familial influences and his own, creating a touching and deeply personal musical legacy.
Each of these artists not only paid tribute to Buffett during the CMAs but also shared a deep musical connection with the legendary artist, reflecting the enduring influence of Buffett’s country roots in their musical journeys.