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.”
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… pic.twitter.com/zOb6yRpJ7n
— Toots & The Maytals (@tootsmaytals) September 12, 2020
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’.
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.”
The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed 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 RIP MIGHTY & POWERFUL NYAH FYAH BALL 😢 pic.twitter.com/zIofrbYZU0
— Ziggy Marley (@ziggymarley) September 12, 2020
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:
RIP Toots pic.twitter.com/xuUeydzq0W
— Paul Arthurs. (@BoneheadsPage) September 12, 2020
my camper van has had the best of Toots and The Maytals in all summer..and me and the kids love singing along to Country Roads…not his most famous but just so joyous https://t.co/bHy5JPMy4n
— Rob da Bank (@RobdaBank) September 12, 2020
So sad to hear of Toots Hibbert’s passing. When I first heard Pressure Drop that was a big moment – he had such a powerful voice and on stage he always gave the audience his total energy. A sad loss to the music world. pic.twitter.com/CAs9VF4X41
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) September 12, 2020
Trojan mourns the passing of legendary reggae icon Toots Hibbert, frontman of the groundbreaking reggae and ska group Toots & The Maytals. Our condolences to all his family, friends, and loved ones. #TootsHibbert pic.twitter.com/YQx4Fga26v
— Trojan Records (@trojanrecords) September 12, 2020
Today I mourn with all Jamaicans as we woke to news of the passing of our very own legendary Reggae singer Frederick "Toots" Hibbert from the iconic band, “Toots and the Maytals”.
Toots died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew on Friday evening. pic.twitter.com/SkkTGxTuw2
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) September 12, 2020
#5446 ❤️🇯🇲🌎 Rest in power Uncle Toots Hibbert pic.twitter.com/5AylqkpM1i
— Cedella Marley (@cedellamarley) September 12, 2020
Toots & The Maytals – Funky Kingston https://t.co/iRNOtswHKN via @YouTube So sorry to hear of Toots Hibbert’s death. His music was a constant in our house growing up via Tighten up albums. His voice was powerful and adaptable to funk, soul, country, AND reggae. Rest in power…
— Lenny Henry (@LennyHenry) September 12, 2020
Sad to hear of the passing of Toots Hibbert. He was an early originator of Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae. Prayers and thoughts with his family and loved ones. God bless his soul.@tootsmaytals #tootshibbert pic.twitter.com/qis9ZPd7Xy
— Yusuf / Cat Stevens (@YusufCatStevens) September 12, 2020
RIP Toots Hibbert ❤️🏆❤️ pic.twitter.com/hRE0JAGpbX
— Debbie Harry/BLONDIE (@BlondieOfficial) September 12, 2020
R.I.P Toots. X
What a life, what an amazing freedom fighter and spirit lifter. This genius Toots Hibbert influenced our lives from a very early age with colours he painted in his music with such crackers as Monkey Man and Pressure Drop to name a few. His music will live on#toots pic.twitter.com/fCiyncFTFk
— Skindred (@Skindredmusic) September 12, 2020
— Walshinho (@walshyfire) September 12, 2020
Rest in peace Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert, 1942-2020. @tootsmaytals supported The Who on their 1975 US tour. Toots released a new album, Got To Be Tough, last month on the @JamaicaTrojan label. pic.twitter.com/y6XFyyKpGA
— The Who (@TheWho) September 12, 2020
I’d like to send my condolences to the Hibbert family for my dear friend Toots Hibbert who passed away on Friday. I have very happy memories of playing with him, a lovely man and a great talent. Here we are talking about his song ‘Pressure Drop’: https://t.co/uBph4Skerj
— Ronnie Wood (@ronniewood) September 12, 2020
Rest in Peace Tootshttps://t.co/padNuuiNYQ
— Willie Nelson (@WillieNelson) September 12, 2020
🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 rest easy king. Toots Hibbert 👑👑👑👑 https://t.co/etenuImCdJ
— T’questla (@questlove) September 12, 2020
Rest in Peace Toots. pic.twitter.com/fjbPAJxKnx
— Echo & the Bunnymen (@Bunnymen) September 12, 2020
View this post on Instagram
In memorandum: Farewell Toots, one of the greatest and most iconic figures in Jamaican music who’s unrivalled, soulful, passionate voice touched the world. The legacy of his songs will forever live on. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, my BBC show for this Sunday 13th September has already been recorded However, next week there will be a full tribute to the icon. Rest well my dear friend. David