A Statement from the family announced “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,” his family said in a statement. “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. Mr. Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Miss D, and his seven of eight children.”
A cause of death was not disclosed but Toots was admitted to hospital about two weeks ago after complaining of respiratory problems. He was later placed in a medically-induced coma where a Claude Mills, publicist for the musician said he was “fighting for his life.”
On Tuesday, former Culture Minister Olivia Grange appealed for blood for the Jamaica icon.
Checks with his team revealed that he is on a ventilator; however, there was was no confirmation on his COVID-19 test result.
Toots, a three-time winner of the Jamaica Festival Song competition, was one of the 10 finalists for 2020 and spoke with pride in an interview with The Gleaner in August about his entry, Rise Up Jamaicans.
He said he was pleased that he was able to contribute to the revitalisation of the competition.
Just over a week ago, Toots Hibbert, the prolific hitmaker, who has been in the business for close to six decades, released his latest album, Got To Be Tough, on the Trojan Jamaica label.
Toots and his band are known for the reggae standards “54-46 Was My Number,” “Pressure Drop,” “Funky Kingston” and “Monkey Man.”
In an Instagram post Ziggy Marley said : The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed i spoke with him a few weeks ago told him how much i loved him and what he means to me, we laughed and shared our mutual respect . i am fully in sorrow tonight i will miss his smile and laughter his genuine nature @tootsmaytalsofficial was a father figure to me his spirit is with us his music fills us with his energy i will never forget him. #foundingfather
Toots and the Maytals won the Grammy award for best reggae album in 2005 and Hibbert was awarded an Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government in 2012.
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