Toots Hibbert, one of reggae's founders and most beloved stars who gave the music its name and later helped make it an worldwide movement through such classics as "Pressure Drop", "Monkey Man", and "Funky Kingston", has died.
Hibbert "passed away peacefully" in Kingston, Jamaica surrounded by his family, the group announced on Friday. His family have released a statement regarding Hibbert's death.
"The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief".
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Hibbert leaves behind a wife and eight children.
The role he played in carving out the landscape of reggae music was integral.
While the cause of his death has not been announced, an August 31 Facebook post from the band said that Hibbert had been taken to intensive care and was waiting to receive the results of a coronavirus test.
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Just over a week ago, the prolific hitmaker, who has been in the business for close to six decades, released his latest album, Got To Be Tough, on the Trojan Jamaica label.
"He was a father figure to me", he wrote, saying his music "fills us with his energy". It largely discussed systematic racism, as well as social and economic injustices. Born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, Toots penned some of the most famous songs in the history of reggae and ska, including "Do the Reggay", often cited as the reason the genre was named as such, "Pressure Drop" and "54-46 That's My Number".
Toots and the Maytals won the Reggae Grammy Award in 2005 for the album "True Love". May his soul rest in peace.
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