‘Toots’ Hibbert, Jamaican reggae legend, dies aged 77

Jamaican reggae legend Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert has died aged 77, his band Toots and The Maytals said in a statement early Saturday.

Hibbert “passed away peacefully” in Jamaica “surrounded by his family” at the University Hospital of the West Indies late Friday, the Twitter statement said.

While the cause of his death has not been announced, the band said on September 3 that Hibbert had been taken to intensive care and was waiting to receive the results of a coronavirus test.

“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,” Saturday’s statement said.

It added that Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years and seven of his eight children.

Trojan Records, the reggae label that released albums by Toots And The Maytals, was among those paying tribute to Hibbert on Saturday.

In a statement posted on Twitter, it said: “We are so sad to hear of the passing of Toots. A true pioneer who changed lives and brought so much joy through his music. We have lost a true legend. Your music will live on forever Fredrick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert.”

The frontman’s death comes weeks after the band released “Got To Be Tough,” its first album in more than a decade.

Ziggy Marley, the son of reggae star Bob Marley, contributed to the Toots and The Maytals’ recent album, featuring on a cover of his late father’s song “Three Little Birds.”

Paying his respects to Hibbert on social media, Marley tweeted that he saw the musician as a “father figure,” before adding that he would “never forget” him.

Marley also said the pair had spoken a few weeks before Hibbert’s death.

Toots and The Maytals’ hits include “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Do The Reggay,” the last of which is said to have given the genre its name.