Reggae legend Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert dies aged 77

Reggae legend Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert dies aged 77

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, frontman of pioneering reggae group Toots And The Maytals, has died at the age of 77.

Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals performs on stage in Hyde Park, London, 31st August 1974.

His last known public performance was on a national live stream during Jamaica's Emancipation and Independence celebrations in August. His family have released a statement regarding Hibbert's death.

He was also considered a great singer of reggae, able to bring something deeply spiritual to the humblest of lyrics.

"His voice reminds me very much of the timbre of Otis Redding".

Ziggy Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, said Hibbert had been a father figure. Speaking with the Jamaica Observer in 2018, Hibbert spoke of sharing bills with Marley's band, the Wailers, in their early days.

The original Maytals, a trio, appeared in the groundbreaking 1972 film The Harder They Come, which helped launch reggae music around the world. We chose to play Sweet and Dandy.

Hibbert's manager Cabel Stephenson was so overcome with emotion that he could not comment.

Scroll down to read some of the tributes shares to social media on Saturday. "The music relaxed me, and surprisingly, I was not nervous". Willie added his vocal after the fact.

The group split up in the early 1980s, before reforming in the early 1990s.

According to TMZ, Toots was injured in 2013 when someone in the audience threw a bottle at his head.

"He had just released another album, Got to be Tough", and was performing in concerts as recently as January of this year. He and his band won the Grammy Award for best reggae album in 2005. The magazine lists him as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

He was inducted into the Order of Jamaica in 2012.

Toots Hibbert survived seven of his eight children and his wife of 39 years, Miss D.

By adolescence, his parents had died and he had moved to Trench Town in Kingston, where the local music scene was thriving, moving from street parties to recording studios and drawing such future stars as Bob Marley and Desmond Dekker. I was told that the Maytals were coming to the Barn to record.

Among his most popular songs were "Bam, Bam", "Pomps and Pride", "Sweet and Dandy", and "54-46 (That's My Number").

Hibbert, born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, has been a music icon since the 1960s, and literally popularized the phrase "reggae" after his 1968 hit "Do the Reggay".

"There was a slang word in Jamaica, "streggae.' People would say, 'Oh, that girl looks streggae" (meaning ragged-looking, or worn out)". I don't even know how to describe how booming it was. What happened next I will never forget for as long as I live.

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