BMG remembers 'legendary reggae icon' Toots Hibbert

BMG remembers 'legendary reggae icon' Toots Hibbert

BMG has paid its respects to a “legendary reggae icon” after Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert passed away aged 77.

“BMG mourns the passing of legendary reggae icon Toots Hibbert, frontman of the groundbreaking reggae and ska group Toots and the Maytals,” the label said in a statement. “Our condolences to all his family, friends, and loved ones.”

An initial statement released by Hibbert’s management company on Friday (September 11) confirmed that Hibbert had passed away after being hospitalised with breathing problems. He was awaiting results for a Covid-19 test before being placed in an induced coma.

“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 statement read.

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

Hibbert fronted the Maytals for six decades, achieving international renown for a vast catalogue of some of reggae and ska’s biggest songs, notably 54-46 Was My Number and Pressure Drop.

BMG released Got To Be Tough, his first album in more than a decade, last month via Trojan Jamaica. Produced by Zak Starkey, the 10-track record featured collaborations from Ringo Starr, Ziggy Marley, Sly Dunbar and Cyril Neville. The band were scheduled to return to Glastonbury Festival this summer.

Wise Music Group (WMG) represents Hibbert for publishing. Marcus Wise, global head of media at WMG, said: "I feel honoured to have worked with Toots Hibbert over the last few years.  The Wise Music family and I are deeply saddened by the news of his passing.  Toots’ powerful voice had the unique ability to transcend genres and musical styles and his lyrics were personal yet universally inclusive.  He was a true master of his craft.  I will miss his boundless creativity and magnetic personality.  My thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time." 

Hibbert’s live representatives United Talent Agency (UTA) tweeted their condolences, while Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood were among those to pay tribute on social media. Scroll down to see a selection of tributes.

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