Toots and the Maytals’ Toots Hibbert, RIP
Reggae legend and Toots and the Maytals leader Toots Hibbert has passed away, after being hospitalized in late August and placed in a medically-induced coma in early September. He was 77. The Maytals broke the news on Twitter, writing:
It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel "Toots" Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.
The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief.
Mr. Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Miss D, and his seven of eight children.
No cause of death has been revealed, but the BBC repots that he had been showing COVID-like symptoms before he was hospitalized.
Toots is one of the pioneers of reggae, and is even credited with popularizing the term with his 1968 song "Do the Reggay." After releasing several albums in the 1960s and early 1970s and achieving success in Jamaica, the Maytals began crossing over into US audiences after contributing two songs to 1972's iconic The Harder They Come soundtrack (alongside the film's star, Jimmy Cliff, as well as Desmond Dekker and others), and they continued to cross over with their first international album, 1973's Funky Kingston. They remained prolific over the years, and had just released their first new album in a decade, Got To Be Tough, only days before Toots was hospitalized.
Ziggy Marley was among those to pay tribute, writing:
The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed i spoke with him a few weeks ago told him how much i loved him and what he means to me, we laughed and shared our mutual respect . i am fully in sorrow tonight i will miss his smile and laughter his genuine nature @tootsmaytalsofficial was a father figure to me his spirit is with us his music fills us with his energy i will never forget him. #foundingfather
RIP TO THE MIGHTY AND POWERFUL NYAH FYAH BALL ❤️💚💛. JAH RASTAFAR I 😢😢😢
The Who wrote, "Rest in peace Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert, 1942-2020. Toots and the Maytals supported The Who on their 1975 US tour. Toots released a new album, Got To Be Tough, last month on the Trojan Jamaica label."
Update: The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, The Skatalites, No Doubt, Blondie, Willie Nelson, Rancid, and many others have also paid tribute.
Rest in peace, Toots. Your massive influence lives on.
Listen to some of Toots' music and watch some videos below...