There is no truth to claims that legendary Jamaican musician Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert is dead, Jamaica’s Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange ascertained yesterday afternoon.
“Toots’ condition is stable as it has been for the last few days. His condition is being closely monitored by doctors, the report is false,” Grange said. “Although Toots is critically ill, he is slowly making steady progress, and is being given all the necessary support. We are asking those who are desirous of giving support and are willing to do so, to donate blood to Mr Hibbert’s account at the Blood Bank at UHWI (University Hospital of the West Indies) or at Slipe Pen Road.”
Days ago, it was reported that Toots was awaiting Covid-19 test results. Those results are still unknown to the public.
On Tuesday reports spread through the entertainment industry that the 77-year-old cultural icon had passed away.
“Please display the appropriate respect to Toots and his family. Please desist from spreading these baseless rumours. Exercise some sensitivity, keeping in mind that his family is deeply concerned during this most difficult period. What we all need at this time is a lot of positive thoughts and prayers for Toots’ recovery,” Grange said.
Toots and his group “Toots and the Maytals” are considered legends of ska and reggae music. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae, and rock. They are one of the most popular Jamaican music groups in the 60s and produced music for Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, and Byron Lee.
Toots is known for songs like Bam Bam, Pressure Drop, Country Roads, and Time Tough.
Toots and the Maytals remain a relevant influence on today’s global music scene with artistes like Amy Winehouse re-recording some of his classic tracks. He has toured with The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, and Los Lonely Boys. He also received a Grammy nomination for his 2008 release Light Your Light.