Reggae Pioneer, Toots Hibbert Dead at 77

Hibbert, who named the genre, passed away on Friday, Sept 11

Posted  1,062 Views updated 1 year ago

Reggae pioneer 'Toots' Hibbert died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica on Friday, September 11th. He was 77.

The singer had been admitted to the hospital since late August and was in a medically induced coma.

His family released a statement which read: "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."

Born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, 'Toots' musical journey began as a child singing in a church choir. In his mid to late teen, he moved to Kingston where he along with Henry 'Raleigh' Gordon and Nathaniel 'Jerry' Matthias formed the vocal trio, the Maytals.

Throughout the '60s and '70s, the Maytals gave the world at large a plethora of hit songs, namely, '54-46 That's My Number', 'Pressure Drop', 'Sweet and Dandy', 'Monkey Man', 'Bam Bam', 'Pump and Grind', and 'Do the Reggay'. It was his song 'Do the Reggay' that was credited with officially naming the genre, Reggae.

'Toots' musical journey took a break in the early '80s after the breakup of the Maytals core members. However, later in the decade it continued and lasted up to August 28, 2020, when his album "Got To Be Tough" was released.

During his illustrious music career, he has received several acclaims and was awarded a grammy for "True Love" in the category of best reggae album in 2004.

In an interview done in 2012, 'Toots' spoke of his music and was quoted to have said words to wit: "a message of consolation; a message of salvation. The youth are going to school and they have to listen to the words. The parents have to listen to the words. God has to listen to the words. So, we have to make it positive. If you sing nursery rhymes, it is nothing. You just blow up tomorrow, and the record dies at the same time. But if you give positive words, that song lives forever."

Rest in eternal peace, King. We love and appreciate you.


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