President Biden described Jimmy Buffet, the mind behind the 1970s hit “Margaritaville” and scion of the multibillion-dollar empire that spawned from the tune, as an American music icon who inspired generations to take it easy. 

Mr. Biden’s statement on the late musician comes hours after Mr. Buffett’s death at 76 was announced on his social media accounts. 

“A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffet was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another,” Mr. Biden said. “His witty, wistful songs celebrate a uniquely American cast of characters and seaside folkways, weaving together an unforgettable musical mix of country, folk, rock, pop, and calypso into something uniquely his own.” 

The statement on Mr. Buffett’s social media gave no cause of death, but noted that the singer died “peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs.”

Mr. Biden said that he and First Lady Jill Biden had met Mr. Buffett over the years, and that “he was in life as he was performing on stage — full of goodwill and joy, using his gift to bring people together.” 

The president noted Mr. Buffet’s prolific recording catalog and numerous accolades from the music industry, adding that the late musician was adept in other areas of life, including as a businessman, being a pilot, and as a champion of conversation for the Gulf Coast. 

“Jill and I send our love to his wife of 46 years, Jane; to their children, Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron; to their grandchildren; and to the millions of fans who will continue to love him even as his ship now sails for new shores,” Mr. Biden said.