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Hear Terry Fator's Spot-On "Margaritaville" Tribute to the Late Jimmy Buffett
After the star died at 76 on September 1, the America's Got Talent Season 2 winner honored him with a lookalike puppet.
Terry Fator is a parrothead!
“Jimmy passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” read a statement on his website. “He lived his life like a song till the very last breath and will be missed beyond measure by so many.”
In the video posted to Fator's official Instagram page and YouTube channel, he showed off a Jimmy Buffett inspired puppet while decked out in a Hawaiian shirt and standing in front of a palm tree backdrop. Then, he did an on-point rendition of Buffett's classic hit "Margaritaville," doing what he does best as a ventriloquist by not moving his mouth even a smidge. And of course, he wrapped things up with some punny jokes about buffets, giving us a play on words about the late star's last name.
But Fator wasn't done covering the classics there. On September 29, he shared a clip of him singing a collaboration between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, their 1983 song "Say Say Say."
During the cover, Fator did the most accurate impressions of Jackson and McCartney's voices. He switched back and forth seamlessly between the two while keeping his lips completely closed, making it seem easy. (But trust us, its not!)
Terry Fator on AGT
Fator auditioned for Season 2 of America's Got Talent in 2007 using his puppet Emma Taylor to perform a rendition of "At Last" by Etta James. He ended up winning the competition with his performance of "You Got a Friend in Me," using a James Taylor inspired puppet and a Kermit the Frog puppet.
Since then, Fator has become a renowned ventriloquist. In fact, he was labeled as one of the highest earning comedians in 2019 by Forbes. He got a deal for 15 engagements with The Last Vegas Hilton in 2008 for 1.5 million, and in 2009, got deals with The Mirage for nightly shows, worth a reported $100 million at the time. The contract was renewed multiples times, with Forbes reporting that he was offered a whopping $20 million a year if he sold out his Monday through Thursday shows. The show at The Mirage closed in March 2020.
America's Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell has been blown away by Fator's accomplishments since his breakthrough on the show. “There's no question, he's the most successful Contestant we've ever had," Cowell told People in November 2022. "He's had three Vegas deals ... worth about a hundred million."