Toots Hibbert Biography
Nathaniel Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, O.J. A Jamaican singer and songwriter, credited as the leader of the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals, received the Grammy Award. He was born on 8 December 1942 in May Pen, Colony of Jamaica. His song “Do the Reggay” from 1968 is widely regarded as the genesis of the reggae music name.
Toots Hibbert Age
He was 77 years old.
Toots Hibbert Family
Hibbert was born in May Pen, the youngest of eight children in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. Hibbert’s parents were both strict Seventh-day Adventist preachers so he grew up in a church choir singing gospel songs. Both parents died young and by 11, Toots was an orphan who had gone to live in Kingston’s Trenchtown neighborhood with his brother John. In 1962 he was heard singing inside by Ralphus “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Matthias while working at a nearby barbershop. They would become a trio that formed The Maytals — named after May Pen’s hometown of Hibbert.
Toots Hibbert Career
In the 1960s the Maytals became one of Jamaica’s most successful vocal groups, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, and Leslie Kong. This success included winning the National Popular Song Contest in Jamaica three times with songs written by Hibbert: in 1966 with “Bam Bam,” in 1969 with “Sweet and Dandy” and in 1972 with “Pomps & Pride.”
Funky Kingston was the first Toots and the Maytals album recorded and distributed by Island Records by Chris Blackwell. Music critic Lester Bangs described the album in Stereo Review as “perfection, the most thrilling and diversified collection of reggae tunes by a single artist yet released. ” Chris Blackwell had a deep dedication to Toots and the Maytals, saying,” I’ve known Toots longer than anyone else – much longer than Bob (Bob Marley).
In 2011 Hibbert was featured in the BBC documentary Reggae Got Soul: The Story of Toots and the Maytals. It features appearances by Marcia Griffiths, Jimmy Cliff, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Anthony DeCurtis, Ziggy Marley, Chris Blackwell, Paolo Nutini, Paul Douglas, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare, described as “The untold story of one of the most influential artists ever to come out of Jamaica.”
Toots Hibbert Death
In August 2020, Hibbert was confirmed to be in a medically induced coma at the hospital “fighting for his life.”
A post on the band’s Facebook page revealed on 12 September 2020 that Hibbert had died. The Gleaner and Rolling Stone later reported the declaration, reporting the Hibbert died of COVID-19 complications at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica
The cause of death was not announced, but his Facebook account reported on Aug. 31 that in the last two weeks Hibbert has been screened for coronavirus and put in intensive care.
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
View this post on Instagram
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 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.