Toots Hibbert has died aged 77

The legendary musician was largely renowned as one of the fathers of reggae music

14.09.20

Photos by: Michael Putland

Words by: Billy Ward

Jamaican reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert has sadly died, aged 77.

A statement from his family on Saturday read: “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.

“The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief.”

Largely renowned as one of the fathers of reggae music, the legendary musician had fronted the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals since the 1960s, with his death coming just weeks after the release of their first album in more than a decade, ‘Got To Be Tough’.

On seminal cuts like ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Monkey Man’ and ‘Sweet and Dandy’, Toots’ raw vocals were often compared to the giants of soul music at the time, such as Ray Charles and Otis Redding.

The cause of Hibbert’s death is yet to be confirmed, however, his family revealed that he had been in intensive care after testing positive for coronavirus.

Read a selection of tributes left to Toots on social media below.