Toots Hibbert, one of the founding members of reggae and reggae leader has died at the age of 77. The news of his ill-health broadcasted during Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations in August just weeks after his last performance.
A statement from the family said Toots Hibbert died on Friday at University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, surrounded by family.
Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley, tweeted about Toots Hibbert’s death
Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley, tweeted about the death saying he spoke with Toots Hibbert a few weeks ago.
Toots Hinberst’s raspy tenor made him more accessible to American listeners
Toots Hibbert was multi-talented. He was a bandleader, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and performer. His public performances sometimes ended with many of his audience dancing with him on stage.
His raspy tenor was compared to the voice of Otis Redding. This quality of his made him more accessible to American listeners than many reggae artists.
Toots Hibbert was also captured
Toots Hibbert was also captured, like any others in the daily life of Jamaica during the years after its independence from Britain in 1962. It was either for speaking about wedding jitters (“Sweet and Dandy”) or of trying to pay the rent (“Time Tough”). One of the most popular and surprising songs was his remodeling of John Denver’s nostalgic “(Take Me Home) Country Roads,” though the setting changed from West Virginia to a world Hibbert knew so well.
The number of Hibbert’s fans increased
The number of Toot Hibbert’s fans increased after the release of the landmark 1972 film, “The Harder They Come.” The film showcased Jimmy Cliff as a poor Jamaican who moves to Kingston and dreams of a career in music. Jamaican production became famous in the U.S. and the soundtrack, often stood tall among the greatest in movie history, included the Maytals’ “Pressure Drop” and “Sweet and Dandy.”
In an honorary album from 2004, the Grammy-winning “True Love,” had special appearances by Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Ryan Adams, and Jeff Beck. The 2011 BBC documentary, “Reggae Got Soul,” was based on him. The documentary was also commentated by Clapton, Richards, and Willie Nelson.
A guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live” brought Toots Hibbert an unanticipated follower
A guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live” in 2004 brought Toots Hibbert an unanticipated follower. The program’s guest host, Donald Trump, was the man. Trump in his book “Think Like a Billionaire” recalled hearing the Maytals rehearse – “My daughter Ivanka had told me how great they were, and she was right. The music relaxed me, and surprisingly, I was not nervous.”
Toots Hibbert’s Grammy Nomination
Nominations for Toots Hibbert in Grammy consisted of the best reggae album of 2012 for “Reggae Got Soul” and the best reggae album of 2007 for “Light Your Light.” Toots Hibbert was listed No. 71 on a Rolling Stone list, collected in 2008, of the 100 greatest contemporary singers. In 2012, the government of Jamaica facilitated Toots Hibbert with the Order of Distinction for outstanding contribution to the country’s music.