Jamaican reggae legend, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert, has sadly passed away at 77. Frontman of group Toots and the Maytals, multi-instrumentalist Toots was a charismatic, soulful performer and giant of Jamaican music for almost 60 years. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown and Otis Redding, and a contemporary of Bob Marley, Toots was an undeniable music icon bringing his reggae rhythms to households around the world.
Toots pioneered reggae, popularising the genre in the 1960s with catchy, uplifting singles imbued with subtle social commentary including major hits “Pressure Drop”, “54-46 That’s My Number” and “Monkey Man”. He was even credited with coining the term ‘reggae’ through his 1968 tune “Do The Reggay”. In 1970, The Maytals performed alongside Bob and Marcia and Desmond Dekker for the first ever major UK reggae festival at Wembley arena and then went on to have songs synced in Jamaican film The Harder They Come, bringing wider attention to the band and genre as a whole.
Kassner Music and co-publisher Keep On Kicking Music are proud to represent some of Toots Hibbert’s outstanding musical legacy including the classic song “I’ll Never Grow Old” from The Maytals first-ever studio album recorded with Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd at the helm and the great Skatalites backing, as well as a wide range of tracks from the 90s and 00s such as works from albums ‘Recoup’ (1997), ‘Ska Father’ (1998) and ‘Light Your Light’ (2007) amongst others.
Toots’ distinctive voice and prolific songwriting secured him four Grammy-award nominations over the course of his career and in 2005 Toots and his band mates won ‘Best Reggae Album’ for their LP ‘True Love’, comprising a collection of their definitive hits re-recorded with guest artists such as Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards together with the track “Take A Trip” featuring Bunny Wailer.