"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", his family announced through the band's official social media channels Friday night.
Hibbert's cause of death is not known but earlier this month he was put in intensive care and tested for coronavirus, though his results are unknown. The Jamaican production was a word of mouth hit in the US and the soundtrack, often ranked among the greatest in movie history, included the Maytals' "Pressure Drop" and "Sweet and Dandy".
Hibbert's manager Cabel Stephenson was so overcome with emotion that he could not comment. Other notable Toots and the Maytals hits included the group's reworking of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads", as well as reggae staples such as "Funky Kingston" and "Reggae Got Soul".
Tributes for Hibbert poured in on Saturday. They broke up in the early 1980s, but the following decade Hibbert began working with a new lineup of Maytals.
Hibbert previously underwent three years of extensive physical rehabilitation after an incident in May 2013 in Richmond, VA, when a glass liquor bottle was thrown from the audience and struck him in the forehead during a performance, severely injuring the singer. He and his band won the Grammy Award for best reggae album in 2005. Hibbert was ranked No. 71 on a Rolling Stone list, compiled in 2008, of the 100 greatest contemporary singers.
Hibbert is survived by his wife and seven of his eight children. "So sad to hear of Toots Hibbert's passing", he wrote. Over the following 10 years the group recorded with a series of producers that reads like a reggae hall of fame: Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Leslie Kong - and reeled off Hibbert compositions like "Bam Bam, ' 'Sweet and Dandy" and '54-46 That's My Number, ' which was inspired by a mid-'60s prison term he served for marijuana possession. His 1968 song "Do The Reggay" gave a name to Jamaica's signature beat, but his artistry defied boundaries.
"If a girl didn't look so nice or she wasn't dressed properly, we used to say she was streggay". "I might have stuck with calling it streggay if I'd thought longer". I don't even know how to describe how booming it was. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.