James William "Jimmy" Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is a singer-songwriter, author, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett's musical hits include "Margaritaville" (No. 234 on RIAA's list of "Songs of the Century"), and "Come Monday". He has a devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads".
Aside from his career in music, Buffett is also a best-selling writer and is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best known songs, "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville". He owns the Margaritaville Cafe restaurant chain and co-developed the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant concept with OSI Restaurant Partners (parent of Outback Steakhouse), which operates the chain under a licensing agreement with Buffett.
Gulf and western is a term used to describe the music of Buffett and other similar sounding performers. The name derives from elements in Buffett's early music including musical influence from country and western, along with folk music and lyrical themes from the Gulf of Mexico coast. A critic described Buffett's music as a combination of "tropical languor with country funkiness into what some [have] called the Key West sound, or Gulf-and-western." The term is a play on the name of the former megacorporation Gulf+Western (now part of National Amusements).
Other performers identified as gulf and western are often deliberately derivative of Buffett's musical style and some are tribute bands or, in the case of Greg "Fingers" Taylor, a former member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band. They can be heard on Buffett's online Radio Margaritaville and on the compilation album series Thongs in the Key of Life.