Jamaican musician and true reggae great Toots Hibbert has died.
The songwriter had been ill of late, with his family revealing he was in intensive care after testing positive for coronavirus.
News of Toots’ death was confirmed overnight, sparking a wave of tributes to the much-loved musician, who was 77 years old.
Initially forming a group called The Flame, Toots re-constituted the band as The Maytals, a term he found in the Old Testament.
Matching emerging ska forms with old Jamaican church music, he also added elements of southern soul into the mixture, infusing his music with aspects of Stax.
Jailed for possession of marijuana, his return to the public eye spawned the righteous hit ’54-46 Was My Number’.
Other seminal cuts include ‘Pressure Drop’ and ‘Monkey Man’, famously recorded by The Specials.
Working continuously, Toots & The Maytals helped turn reggae into an international form, touring across the globe.
Studio work continued at an incredible pace, too – earlier this year, Toots & The Maytals released new album ‘Got To Be Tough’.
A dynamic force within music, a reggae pioneer – he’ll be missed.
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