Jimmy Buffett’s longtime guitarist Mac McNally joins the singers in the final hours

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Jimmy Buffett passed away in September, and many of his favorite artists honored him with a performance at the CMA Awards on Wednesday.

Before the tribute, Mac McNally, guitarist and longtime member of Buffett’s band Coral Reefer, spoke to Fox News Digital about the late singer-songwriter, even sharing some of his final words.

“I saw him 24 hours before he passed, and he was smiling wider than his head and saying, ‘What a hell of a ride, keep it up, keep the party going,’ and we intend to do that,” McNally said.

“I didn’t know what to say,” he admitted of this last visit with Buffett, “and I didn’t know if I could talk without crying, but I picked up the guitar and played, and we told a few rounds of stories and laughed. He made sure I knew he didn’t want anyone to be sad,” And for everyone to maintain the joy that he began to roll and roll.

Before his death, Buffett had been “fighting Merkel cell cancer for four years,” according to an obituary shared on his website.

He had to cancel several concerts due to his health, but “continued to perform during treatment, playing his final show, a surprise appearance in Rhode Island, in early July,” the obituary said.

Mac McNally, guitarist and longtime member of Buffett’s band Coral Reefer, spoke to Fox News Digital about the late singer and songwriter, even sharing some of his final words.
AP

After decades in the music business, his death had a huge impact on countless fans, as well as fellow artists.

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McAnally, along with Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band, performed a medley of Buffett’s songs at the CMA Awards on Wednesday that included “Margaritaville” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”

“Every connection I had with Jimmy meant something to me, because I wouldn’t be here without him,” the guitarist told Fox News Digital.

McAnally performs on stage with Kenny Chesney during a tribute to Jimmy Buffett at the 57th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on November 8, 2023.
Getty Images

“But on this particular night, when we just released his latest album, which he worked so hard on and put so much joy and work into… I’m in this tribute with a group of people that I love so much and – everyone loves Jimmy – but he loved everyone involved in this The tribute tonight is in person.

He continued: It means the world. So, we’ll send his music as far as we can send it, and he’ll smile at us, and we know it.

Buffett was known for how intensely he enjoyed life and how much he promoted the idea that others were doing the same, and McNally said that kind of positivity was reflected in how Buffett wanted his fans to think of him after his death.

Buffett was known for how intensely he enjoyed life and how much he promoted the idea that others did the same.
Getty Images for CMT

“He didn’t want anyone to feel sad, although you can’t help losing someone you look up to to that level, but he didn’t want anyone to feel sad… We’re not going to do that,” he said. Be sad tonight.”

“We’re going to send some love with some Jimmy Buffett music, and we’re going to put our hearts in front of the mic and it’s going to work, I have a feeling,” McNally said.

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When asked what he wanted people to remember most about Buffett, McNally said: “He was just a big ball of good will, and it didn’t matter at what level you saw him. If you met him in the grocery store, you’d think the same thing as if you saw him on stage.” Theater all these years.

“He was truly the person everyone thought he was…He smiled at everyone he met, every day of his life, including his last.”





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