Toots and the Maytals singer Toots Hibbert has died aged 77

The band revealed the singer passed away "peacefully" in Jamaica

Toots and the Maytals singer Toots Hibbert has died aged 77, the band have confirmed.

Earlier this month, Hibbert was hospitalised after testing positive for the coronavirus.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica,” the band’s Twitter account announced.

“The family and management 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.

“Mr. Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Mrs. D, and his seven of eight children.”

Hibbert was reported to be in a “stable condition” in hospital at the start of September following his COVID-19 diagnosis. At the time, he was said to be “showing signs of improvement by the hour.”

Hibbert grew up singing in church, and formed the Maytals in the 1960s. He was a contemporary of his Island Records labelmate Bob Marley, and would go on to appear on stage with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Just a week before Toots’ hospitalisation, Toots and The Maytals released their first album of original material in a decade in the form of  ‘Got To Be Tough’.

Toots Hibbert

In a three-star review of the album, NME‘s Patrick Clarke wrote: “However straightforward the record’s instrumentation, Toots himself remains as unique as ever. His charisma, which always elevated The Maytals above all others, is still evident in force, and the record is at its best when this is pushed to the forefront.

“On ‘Stand Accuse’, the blaring music drops for a minute into a muted dub as Toots, his voice brilliantly soulful and slightly cracked, express his wishes for more light to come into the world.”

Tributes have been pouring in online following the news of Hibbert’s death. Ziggy Marley wrote: “i spoke w/him a few wks ago told him how much i loved him we laughed & shared our mutual respect.

“He was a father figure to me his spirit is w/us his music fills us w/his energy i will never forget him.”

Oasis‘ Bonehead, meanwhile, simply wrote: “RIP Toots,” while Rob Da Bank remembered how his “camper van has had the best of Toots and The Maytals in all summer. “me and the kids love singing along to Country Roads…not his most famous but just so joyous.”

See that post and more tributes below: