Jimmy Buffett’s death from Merkel cell carcinoma was associated with an increase in online search activity related to skin cancer

June 30, 2024

Jimmy Buffett, an American singer most famously known for “Margaritaville”, unfortunately passed away from Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) on September 1st, 2023 (Jimmy Buffett, ‘Margaritaville’ Singer, Is Dead at 76 – The New York Times). Following his death, Google and Wikipedia online searches for “Merkel cell carcinoma” and “skin cancer” saw a huge upward spike and remained very high for around a week after his death. This trend was observed especially in the Southeastern United States, an area that has higher rates of skin cancer and could benefit from increased skin cancer prevention awareness. This suggests an opportunity to educate more people about this rare skin cancer, especially in areas with increased risk of skin cancer, as they may be more curious and open to this information due to the interest surrounding Buffett’s death.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. His legacy not only includes his contributions to music but also the increased awareness of skin cancer that has the potential to save lives.