Legendary reggae singer and frontman of Toots And The Maytals, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, passed away Friday evening at the age of 77. The news came from an announcement made by his family, revealing that he “passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family” in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. He is survived by his wife of 39 years and seven of his eight children.
The cause of death has not yet been announced , but Hibbert’s passing comes after he was hospitalized for showing symptoms in line with the coronavirus. A rep later said Hibbert was fighting for his life after he was placed in a medically-induced coma.
Hibbert formed the first version of The Maytals in the early 1960s after moving to Kingston, Jamaica. Following the addition of Jackie Jackson, Hux Brown, Rad Bryan, and Paul Douglas, the group changed their name to Toots And The Maytals in 1972. They were instrumental in forming the rocksteady and ska sounds, and their 1968 song “Do the Reggay” inspired the name “reggae.” Some of their biggest and longest-lasting hits over their long career include “Bam Bam,” “Sweet and Dandy” and “54-46 That’s My Number.” The group released their most recent album, Got To Be Tough, at the end of August.