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Toots Hibbert (Jamaican Reggae Artist Dies): Bio, Wiki, Age, Career, Death, Instagram

Toots Hibbert Bio, Wiki, Age

Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert, O.J was born on 8 December 1942 and died on 11 September 2020, he was a Grammy Award-winning. Jamaican singer and songwriter, known as the leader for the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals. His 1968 song “Do the Reggay” is widely credited as the genesis of the name for Reggae music.

Toots Hibbert, an influential and veteran Jamaican ska and reggae singer and founder of the band the Maytals, has died. He was 77. The cause of death is as yet unclear though he had been recently tested for Covid-19.

A statement from his family released on Sept. 11 reads: “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.

Toots Hibbert age

He died at the age of 77.

Toots Hibbert Early life

Hibbert was born in May Pen, Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, the youngest of eight children. Hibbert’s parents were both strict Seventh-day Adventist preachers so he grew up singing gospel music in a church choir. Both parents died young and by 11, Toots was an orphan who went to live with his brother John in the Trenchtown neighborhood of Kingston. In 1962, while working at a local barbershop, he was heard singing inside by Ralphus “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Matthias. They would become a trio forming The Maytals — which were named after Hibbert’s hometown of May Pen.

Hibbert was one of the early proponents of reggae in the late 1960s and scored a hit with the song “Do the Reggay.” In fact, he is credited with giving reggae its name when he christened the 1968 song.

He was a contemporary and friend of Bob Marley’s, and for several years both were signed to Island Records. Speaking with the Jamaica Observer in 2018, Hibbert spoke of sharing bills with Marley’s band, the Wailers, in their early days. “Sometimes the Maytals would close, sometimes The Wailers would close the show. We had no problems, no professional jealousy, we were all very good friends,” he said. “Out of all of us though, me an’ Bob were very good friends. It was out of one of those conversations that I did the song ‘Marley.’ He was telling me that he was going to be a dreadlocks Rasta an’ I laughed an’ said, ‘I want to be a comb-locks’ Rasta like Selassie I’ an’ he laughed, just like the words in the actual song,” he said

The two both had hits with different songs called “Redemption Song,” featured on his first album for Island, “Funky Kingston.”

“When I did ‘Redemption Song’ in 1972, it went number one [in Jamaica],” Hibbert recalled. “Marley said he would do a ‘Redemption Song’ as well. He used a similar rhythm but different lyrics.” Marley’s version of the song appeared on the final album released during his lifetime, “Uprising.”

Also in 1972, Hibbert appeared in the groundbreaking film “The Harder They Come,” which starred Jimmy Cliff. His 1969 “Pressure Drop” was featured on the film’s soundtrack and was covered by the Clash in 1978, introducing Hibbert to thousands of new listeners.

A seemingly permanent presence in reggae music, Hibbert continued to tour and record through the years, appearing on Willie Nelson’s 2005 album “Countryman” and covering Radiohead’s “Let Down” for a collection of reggae Radiohead covers. He even joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers onstage for a performance of “Louie Louie” during a 2011 New Year’s Eve party in St. Barts thrown by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

In 2013 he was injured when a thrown bottle hit him in the head during a performance in Virginia. He missed several shows but ended up asking the judge to give the young man who threw the bottle a light sentence.”He is a young man, and I have heard what happens to young men in jail,” he wrote in a letter to the judge. “My own pain and suffering would be increased substantially knowing that this young man would face that prospect.” The man received a six-month sentence.

Hibbert was hospitalized just days after the release of his and the Maytals’ first album in more than a decade, “Got to Be Tough.” The album was co-produced by Zak Starkey, and features contributions from Starkey’s father, Ringo Starr, as well as Ziggy Marley, Sly Dunbar and Cyril Neville (read Variety‘s review).

“I’m very proud of what I’ve done and the love I’ve given,” Hibbert told Rolling Stone of the album. “But it’s getting harder and harder to give the love the people need, and they need it now more than ever. No time to waste.”

On Sept. 2, it was revealed that Hibbert was in stable but serious condition in a private medical facility in Jamaica. He was tested for Covid-19 although the results have not been announced.

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

Toots Hibbert Career

The Maytals became one of the more popular vocal groups in Jamaica in the 1960s, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, and Leslie Kong. This success included winning Jamaica’s National Popular Song Contest three times with songs Hibert wrote: in 1966 with “Bam Bam”, 1969 with “Sweet and Dandy” and 1972 with “Pomps & Pride”.Hibbert was one of the first artists to use the word “reggae”, in 1968’s “Do the Reggay“.

On 25 July 2018, Hibbert performed on the US television show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with Toots and the Maytals where they debuted an original song entitled “Marley” as well as performing their classic hit song “Funky Kingston” in a live performance.

Toots and the Maytals have been cited as an inspiration for other music artists when it comes to career longevity. Jamaican artist Sean Paul explains this by saying, “I’ve seen some great people in my industry, you know, people like Toots…Toots and the Maytals. Toots, he’s a great reggae artist and he’s still doing it…He’s up there in years and he’s doing it. Those kinds of artists inspire me. I know I’m just going to keep on doing music as long as I can.”

Toots Hibbert Death

In August 2020, it was reported that Hibbert was in the hospital “fighting for his life” in a medically-induced coma. On 12 September 2020, a statement on the band’s Facebook page announced that Hibbert had died. The Gleaner and Rolling Stone later confirmed that announcement, reporting that Hibbert died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica due to complications of COVID-19.

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