January 10, 2024
Gospel recording artiste Jenieve Bailey says the recent gold certification for the song 54-46, a massive hit for her late father Fredrick “Toots” Hibbert and The Maytals is an amazing achievement for the reggae icon.
The song, produced by the late Leslie Kong in 1968 and released via the Beverly’s label, was certified gold in the United Kingdom last December by the British Phonographic Industry for sales and streaming equivalent exceeding 400,000 units.
“I am thankful that the UK continues to recognise and reward our pioneers in reggae like my father, so this is an amazing achievement,” Bailey shared in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on the weekend.
According to Bailey, Toots enjoyed performing the song for his fans as it was a crowd favorite during his live performances.
The song has been covered by several recording artistes over the years, among them Fighting Gravity, a band with ska roots from Richmond, Virginia. It was also covered by Earl Stevenson (a contestant on Canadian Idol, Season 6), and Vanilla Ice on his 2011 album W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity and Focus).
The song appears in the sci-fi film Repo Men and in the series Narcos: Mexico.
The band, Toots, and the Maytals, which was formed in the 1960s, helped popularise reggae music. The group’s 1968 single Do The Reggay was the first song to use the word “reggae” naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience.
In 2005, the group won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with True Love.
In December 2019, Toots Hibbert received a Jamaica Observer Entertainment Award for his efforts in taking reggae global.
He died in September 2020 at the age of 77.
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