Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. One of reggae’s founders and most beloved stars who gave the music its name and later helped make it an international movement through such classics as “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston,” has died. He was 77.
Hibbert, frontman of Toots & the Maytals, had been in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Kingston since earlier this month. He was admitted in intensive care after complaints of having breathing difficulties according to his publicist. It was revealed in local media that the singer was awaiting results from a Covid-19 test after showing symptoms.
News of the five-time Grammy nominee’s ill-health came just weeks after his last known performance, on a national live-stream during Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations in August.
During his career, Hibbert released hits like ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Monkey Man’, and ‘Funky Kingston’, and is credited with helping to bring reggae to the world’s attention.
Hibbert is survived by his wife and seven of his eight children.