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Reggae lovers mourn the loss of Toots

Regional 16 Sep, 2020 Follow News

Toots Hibbert was widely respected worldwide

Reggae music lovers worldwide are still cominz to terms with the passing of Jamaican superstar Frederick "Toots" Hibbert.

The legendary musician fronted the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals from the early 1960s until he died last Friday from COVID-19, aged 77.

Hibbert "passed away peacefully" in Kingston, Jamaica surrounded by his family.

Hibbert is credited with popularising reggae music and even naming the genre - his 1968 single ‘Do the Reggay’ is the first song to use the term. Other popular tracks include ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Monkey Man’, and ‘54-46 That's My Number’.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years and seven of his eight children. Hibbert’s death comes just weeks before the release of ‘Got to Be Tough’, the band's first full-length album in more than a decade.

Described as "the world's greatest living reggae singer" in a Rolling Stone profile last month, his vocal style was compared to Otis Redding. The magazine lists him as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

Tributes poured in for the legendary musician on social media.

UK actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry said he was "so sorry" to hear of his death.

"His music was a constant in our house growing up," he tweeted. "His voice was powerful and adaptable to funk, soul, country, AND reggae. Rest in power."

Reggae and pop group UB40 said Hibbert's music "influenced and inspired us to love reggae music from an early age".

And Ziggy Marley - son of Bob Marley - wrote on Twitter that Hibbert was "a father figure to me".

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