Mourning a music legend: the reggae artist Toots Hibbert died on Friday at the age of 77. The family announced this on the official Facebook page. The cause of death of the former member of the band Toots & the Maytals is unknown. At the beginning of the month, the singer was infected with the corona virus.
"It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert fell asleep tonight, peacefully and surrounded by his family, at the University of the West Indies hospital in Kingston, Jamaica," a statement said.
Hibbert was born in southern Jamaica in 1942. He quickly got into music, and at a young age he was drawn to the capital Kingston. There he founded the "Maytals". The band, which still holds the record for the most number one hits in their home country, had their breakthrough back in the 1960s.
Inventor of reggae?
The trio, consisting of Hibbert (vocals), Jerry McArthy (background vocals) and Raleigh Gordon (background vocals), worked with influential producers such as Coxsone Dodd and Leslie Kong.
As early as Tuesday there were the first rumors that Hibbert had died. But culture minister Olivia Grange had denied speculation about the death of the reggae legend. "Toot's condition has been stable for the past few days," it said.
Reggae fans consider Hibbert to be the inventor of the musical style. The Jamaican was one of the first musicians to use the word in his song "Do The Reggay".
He has been honored again and again for his musical merits. In 2008 the music magazine "Rolling Stone" listed him at number 71 of the 100 best singers of all time. In 2012 he was awarded the Order of Jamaica, the fourth highest order in the country. Until recently the band performed regularly in Europe and the USA.