The late reggae icon and frontman of Toots and the Maytals, Toots Hibbert has shot up the Reggae iTunes Charts.
Like other legendary artistes before him, including Michael Jackson and Prince, news of his death has seen his biggest hit topping the charts and radio playlists.
As of Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Toots’ Pressure Drop soared onto the iTunes Top 100 Reggae Songs chart in the United States, occupying the current No. 3 position. Take Me Home, Country Roads currently sits at No. 4, while his memorable cover of John Denver’s I’ve Got Dreams To Remember is currently at No. 7.
Bob Marley & The Wailers Three Little Birds is currently No. 1.
Toots, whose real name was Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, also now holds four of the top albums on the iTunes Top 100 Reggae Albums chart in the US, with True Love at No. 2, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Toots & The Maytals at No. 4, Got to Be Tough at No. 6, and Funky Kingston at No. 7.
Bob Marley & The Wailers sit at No. 1 with Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
While Toots’ death has pulled a dark cloud temporarily over the reggae industry, his music has taken a shining spot atop music charts, contributing to an increase in album sales.
According to Loop News, senior director of Digital Sales at record label BMG, Joe Esposito, G, indicated that figures showed a 6,700 percent increase in Hibbert’s album sales, mostly digital, which amounts to an incredible boost in track downloads and online streaming.
An exact figure on the number of copies sold was not revealed by BMG.
Esposito further revealed that driving 80 percent of playlist plays is the cover of the Bob Marley classic Three Little Birds featuring Ziggy Marley, which is a part of Hibbert’s most recent album called Got to Be Tough.
Of the album, Toots told Rolling Stone, “This album is speaking out about injustices while pointing to a better time. This album is teaching a path to recovery and step to better days on the journey ahead. This album Got to Be Tough is a bind builder of positive objectives.”
Toot’s influence in the world of reggae is not lost and even in death, people still have a desire to listen to his music.
Hibbert’s 55-year career came to an end with his death on September 11 at the University Hospital of the West Indies after developing respiratory complications. He was 77.
Toots’ cause of death was not disclosed, but he was placed in intensive care after first being admitted to UHWI on August 31 with symptoms of the coronavirus.