Frederick “Toots” Hibbert – the legendary lead singer and songwriter of Toots and the Maytals – has died at the age of 77. He passed away on Friday (September 11th) in Kingston, Jamaica.
Announced via the band’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, the entities said, “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.” Though his cause of death has not been officially revealed, fans were notified of his positive Corona Virus test on August 31st.
The Reggae legend and inspiration worked for more than 50 years with artists like Dave Matthews and the Rolling Stones to fellow genre friend Jimmy Cliff and more, bringing a distinctive Jamaican feel to international audiences. His 1968 song “Do The Reggay” gave a name to Jamaica’s signature beat, and his own vocals were an extraordinary blend of rousing gospel, vintage soul, gritty R&B, and classic country. Perhaps his best know work, “Pressure Drop”, was included in the 1972 Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come.
Considered a national treasure in his country of origin, in 2012 Toots was conferred the Order of Jamaica, the lands fifth highest honor.
Watch some of Toots’ best moments here.
Photo: Karl Simpson