Toots Hibbert dead, reggae icon who named the genre, dead at 77.
The man who gave reggae its name and helped make it an international movement, Toots Hibbert, born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, has died at age 77.
Hibbert, one of the genre’s founders and most beloved stars, was known for classics including “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston.” He claimed to have named reggae on his song “Do The Reggay,” which was released in 1968, according to the BBC.
The frontman of Toots & the Maytals, whose nickname “Toots” came from childhood, had been in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Kingston since earlier this month. He was admitted in intensive care after complaints of having breathing difficulties according to his publicist. It was revealed in local media that the singer was awaiting results from a COVID-19 test after showing symptoms.
The Maytals started out as a trio made up of Hibbert, Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathias. Later on, they added instrumentalists including bassist Jackie Jackson and drummer Paul Douglas. They broke up in the early 1980s, but the following decade Hibbert began working with a new lineup of Maytals.
The group posted a statement on Instagram and Twitter announcing his death.