Toots Hibbert, Jamaican musician and reggae legend, is dead

The leader of the group Toots & the Maytals, a musician who died in 77, was one of the first to use the word “reggae”, which gave its name to the famous style of music.

Jamaican musician Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, known as “Toots”, died on Friday, September 11 in Kingston at the age of 77, his family announced. He had been in a medically induced coma earlier this month after being admitted to hospital with respiratory problems. His relatives stated in one message posted on Twitter that he had “died peacefully, surrounded by his family.”

Leader and founder of the group Toots & the Maytals, he was one of the first to use the word “reggae”, which gave its name to the famous style of music. Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy, immediately paid tribute to the artist, who had become a second father to him. “I talked to him a few weeks ago and told him how much I love him,” he said. on Twitter. “His spirit is with us, his music fills us with energy and I will never forget him.”

Mick Jagger also paid tribute to the Jamaican singer. “Very sorry to hear of Toots Hibbert’s passing,” the Rolling Stones star tweeted. “He had such a powerful voice and on stage he always gave all his energy. A great loss for the music world.”

Born in May 1942 in Pen, Jamaica, Toots Hibbert grew up in a family affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He begins the music by singing gospel in the church. As a teenager, the young man moved to Trench Town, Kingston, where the local music scene flourished and moved from street parties to recording studios. In 1962 he formed a singing trio, The Maytals with two starring Kingston, Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathias.

The musician’s singing power and his enigmatic stage presence attracted the Jamaican record producer Sir Coxsone, who signed him to his famous Studio One brand.Make Reggay“, a song that will remain widely recognized as the one that gave its name to the music genre.

Hits taken over by Clash

“When a girl was not very pretty or not dressed so well, we used to say she was ‘streggay’. One day I played and I do not know why but I” started singing: “do reggay, do reggay” – it came out “, he explainedDaily Star 2012.“Maybe I could have called it ‘streggay’ if I had thought about it anymore. It would be something if everyone danced to streggay music.”

The group gained popularity and increased touring, after signing a contract with Island Records in 1975, Chris Blackwell’s label. The music from Toots & The Maytals will seduce as far as England: songs like “Pressure drop“and”AP man“was picked up by British bands The Clash and The Specials respectively.