September 13, 2021
FAMILY members of the late Frederick “Toots” Hibbert say they are still trying to come to terms with his death, a year after his passing.
“Since Toots passed away, life has not been the same for myself and the rest of the family. The house seems so empty without him. Oh, how I long to hear him singing and playing his guitar, filling the house with beautiful melodies and joy. I miss his sweet smile and his warm embrace. I also miss cooking for my husband,” said his widow Doreen.
“Toots and I were together for 57 beautiful years and we were married for 39 of those years. It’s hard to go on all on your own when you’ve lost someone with whom you’ve spent a lifetime. I don’t even know how I manage to carry on without him. I miss him so much,” she continued.
Hibbert, 77, passed away of COVID-19 complications in the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew, on September 11, 2020.
Despite her loss, his daughter Leba Hibbert, said she is committed to keep her dad’s memory alive.
“We are putting plans in place to ensure that my father’s legacy will stay alive. My dad was one of the most loved reggae artistes, and I know his millions of fans worldwide would like to hear what’s in store, so we’ll be making an official announcement soon,” she said.
Toots Hibbert was the frontman for legendary group Toots And The Maytals. He was was one of the 10 finalists in the 2020 staging of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition — a contest he won on three previous occasions with the songs Bam Bam (1966), Sweet And Dandy (1969), and Pomps And Pride (1972). He also released the album Got To Be Tough on August 28, 2020, which earned the Best Reggae Grammy earlier this year. He had won the Grammy in 2005 with True Love.
His other popular songs include Monkey Man, 54-46, Pressure Drop, and Country Road.
Formed in the 1960s, Toots And The Maytals 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 2012, Hibbert was awarded an Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaica’s music industry. In December 2019, he received a Jamaica Observer Entertainment Award for his efforts in taking reggae to a global audience.