Reggae icon Toots Hibbert dies aged 77

Jamaican reggae legend Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert has died at the age of 77.

Hibbert fronted the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals from the early 1960s and is credited with naming the genre. His 1968 single “Do the Reggay” is the first song to use the term.

A statement by the group Friday said he “passed away peacefully” in Kingston, Jamaica surrounded by his family.

While it not yet clear what led to his death, he had been tested for coronavirus in the last two weeks and was put into intensive care.

Some of his popular tracks include Pressure Drop, Sweet and Dandy, and 54-46 That’s My Number.

In a statement, the band and Hibbert’s family thanked medical staff “for their care and diligence”. He is survived by his wife and seven of his eight children.

His death comes just weeks before the release of Got to Be Tough, the band’s first full-length album in more than a decade.

Rolling Stone magazine lists him as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media following his passing, with reggae icons including Ziggy Marley, UB40 and other hailing his impact on the genre and music in general.


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