Reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert has died aged 77.
The music icon – who fronted the reggae and ska band Toots and the Maytals – passed away peacefully at a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday (11.09.20).
A statement from his family read: “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.”
Hibbert was recently taken into hospital in Jamaica after contracting coronavirus.
A statement posted on Facebook in August confirmed that he was receiving treatment in an intensive care unit.
The statement read: “While reports of Mr. Hibbert being in an intensive care unit at a private facility in the Corporate Area are true, the family would like to assure those concerned that he is making positive progress and is receiving the best possible treatment, while he awaits the results on his COVID-19 test. He is resting and in good spirits, and is showing signs of improvement by the hour.
“His family has asked everyone to hold him in their prayers, and would like to thank the Minister of Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Minister of Health Christopher Tufton for their assistance in getting Mr. Hibbert tested, as well as the countless medical professionals who are taking care of Mr. Hibbert around the clock during this time.”
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.