Toots and Maytals lead singer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert died Friday night (September 11) in Kingston, Jamaica, the BBC reports. A declaration on the group’s Twitter account he confirmed the news, giving no cause of death. He was 77 years old.
With the Maytals, Hibbert established himself as a leader in developing reggae’s bright and easygoing sound in the mid-1960s. He was also credited with popularizing the term through his 1
Hibbert formed the Maytals as a trio with Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathiasin and Henry “Raleigh” Gordon in Kingston in 1962. The group released their debut, The sensational Maytals, in 1965, quickly finding popularity in Jamaica. They won the Jamaica National Song Prize in 1966 with Hibbert’s song “Bam Bam”. As the group expanded, they repeated the feat in 1969 with “Sweet and Dandy” and again in 1972 with “Pomps & Pride”, both written by Hibbert. In 1972, “Sweet and Dandy” and “Pressure Drop” appeared on the soundtrack of the Kingston crime film. More difficult they come, which helped introduce reggae to the American public.
In 1966, not long after winning the National Song Prize, Hibbert was sentenced to 18 months in prison on charges of possessing marijuana which he claimed was invented by corrupt authorities. The experience inspired him to write “54-46 Was My Number”, which became one of the most famous songs of the Maytals after its release in 1973. In the darkness.
The Maytals have released their third album, Funky Kingston, in 1972 on the Island they release Dragon Records, which helped the album reach the United Kingdom. In 1975, another version of Funky Kingston was released in the United States with songs by In the darkness and only three of the album’s original tracks. The US version helped cement the band’s popularity in the US, and they toured with The Who, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and the Eagles during its release.
Hibbert went on to release music throughout the 1980s and 1990s, both solo and with new iterations of Toots and the Maytals. He won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2004 True love. The group’s final record was in August You have to be tough.
That month, Hibbert was admitted to an intensive care unit at a private facility in Kingston, where he was tested for COVID-19. On September 2, Jamaica’s Gleaner reported that Hibbert’s condition had worsened and that he was in an induced coma at Kingston University Hospital in the West Indies. He survived his 39-year-old wife and seven children, the band tweeted
Paying tribute to Hibbert on Instagram, Ziggy Marley wrote: “I will miss his smile and laugh, his genuine nature. Toots was a father figure to me, his spirit is with us, his music fills us with his energy. I’ll never forget it. “