Tobas Hibbert, beloved reggae star, dies 77


NEW YORK >> TOUGS HIBBERT, one of the founders of reggae and most loved stars who gave the music its name and later in creating an international movement through classics like “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston” helped. . He was 77.

Hobart, the Tobats and Mytals frontman, was in a medically induced coma at a hospital in Kingston earlier this month. According to his publicist, he was admitted to intensive care after complaining of difficulty in breathing. It was revealed in local media that the singer was waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test after showing symptoms.

There were reports of Grammy Nominee becoming ill just weeks after her last known performance on a national live-stream during Jamaica’s Liberation and Independence celebrations in August.

A family statement said Hibbert died on Friday at the West Indies University Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, surrounded by the family.

Bob Marley’s son Ziggy Marley tweeted about the death, saying that he had spoken with Hibbert a few weeks earlier and said, “Telling them how much I loved them, we laughed and shared our mutual respect, “He said,” She was a father to me. ” . ”

A muscular X-boxer, Hibbert was a bandlader, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and showman whose concerts sometimes ended with dozens of spectators dancing with him on stage. He was also, in many people’s opinion, the greatest singer of reggae, so deeply spiritual he could turn “Do re mi fa so la ti do” into a hymn. His rasp tenor, unusually hot and rough, was compared to the voice of Otis Redding and made him more accessible to American listeners than many reggae artists. Original songs such as “Funky Kingston” and “54-46 That’s My Number” had feelings and an arrangement of calls and feedback for fans of soul and gospel. Hibbert recorded an album in 1988 of American hits, “Toots in Memphis”.

Never as immersed in politics as his friend and great contemporary Bob Marley, Hibbert invoked heavenly justice in the “pressure drop”, preached peace in “revolution, peace”, “bomb bomb”, and in his 1960s Written in “54-” Decade of drug arrests and imprisonment. 46 This is my number. “He occupied the Jamaican’s everyday life like few others in the years following his independence from Britain in 1962, whether he spoke of a wedding setback (” sweet and dandy “) or of paying rent. Try (“time tuff”). One of his most popular and surprising songs was his work about John Denver’s melancholy “(Take Me Home) Country Roads,” which Hibbert knew so well, changing from West Virginia to a world.

Almost Heaven, West Jamaica

True ridge mountain

Shining down the river

All my friends there

Older than those ridges

Smaller than the mountains

Like blowin ‘air

Like other reggae stars, Hibbert’s following grew after the release of the 1972 film, “The Harder Way Less”, starring Jimmy Cliff as a poor Jamaican who moves to Kingston and has a career in music. He dreams The Jamaican production was a word-of-mouth hit in the US and the soundtrack, often ranked among the biggest in film history, included Maytles’ “Pressure Drop” and “Sweet and Dandy”. Hibbert also appeared in the film, as himself, recording “Sweet and Dandy” in the studio, while Cliff’s character looks on with awe. Around the same time, Mectels signed with Island Records and released the acclaimed album “Funky Kingston”, which critic Lester Bangs called “the most exciting and varied set of reggae tunes by a solo artist yet released”. (The album would eventually appear in two different versions).

By the mid-1970s, Keith Richards, John Lennon, Eric Clapton and countless other rock stars had become reggae fans, and Hibbert would eventually record with some of them. A tribute album from 2004, Grammy wins “True Love”, featuring cameos by Richards, Bonnie Ritt, Ryan Adams, and Jeff Beck. Hibbert was also the subject of the 2011 BBC documentary, “Reggae Got Soul”, with Clapton, Richards and Willie Nelson among the commentators.

A guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live” in 2004 recalled Hibbert listening to a Mytles rehearsal by an unexpected fan, the show’s guest host, Donald Trump, who brought in his book “Think Like a Billionaire”: Mary Betty Ivanka told me how great they were, and she was right. The music relaxed me and surprisingly, I was not nervous. ”

Maytles was originally a vocal trio of Hibbert, Henry “Raley” Gordon, and Nathaniel “Jerry” Matthias, later joining the group with instruments such as bassist Jackie Jackson and drummer Paul Douglas. They broke up in the early 1980s, but in the following decade Hibbert began working with Maytel’s new lineup.

Hibbert’s career stalled in 2013 after suffering a head injury from a bottle of vodka thrown at a concert in Ribmond, Virginia, and she suffered from headaches and depression. But by the end of the decade he was performing again and in 2020 he released another album, “Got to Be Tough”, featuring contributions from Ziggy Marley and Ringo Starr, whose son, Jake Starkey, co-produced Worked as

Grammy’s nominations for Hibbert included the 2012 Best Reggae Album for “Reg Got Soul” and the 2007 Best Reggae Album for “Light Your Light”. Hibbert was ranked number 71 on a Rolling Stone list compiled in 2008 of the 100 greatest contemporary singers. In 2012, he received the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for outstanding contributions to country music.

Married to his wife, Doreen, for nearly 40 years, Hibbert had eight children, including desert artists Hibbert and Leba Hibbert.

Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert (“Tots” was a childhood nickname) was born in the parish of May Penn, Clarendon. He was the son of Seventh-day Adventist ministers and would have to miss the filthy paths in schools, the hours of singing in the church, and private moments to listen to such American stars on the radio as the Rest Charles and Elvis Presley.

By the time he was a teenager, his parents had died and moved to Trench Town, Kingston, where the local music scene was thriving, ranging from street parties to recording in the studio and to future stars such as Bob Marley and Desmond Decker. To pull. He formed the eponymous Maytles for his hometown, along with fellow singers Matthias and Gordon, began working with Jamaican record producer Coxsone Dodd and quickly became the star of the national festival competition that began in 1966. Maytales (eventually renamed Tots and the Mattel). Won the inaugural year with “Bam Bomb”, in 1969 with “Sweet and Dandy” and 1972 with “Pomp and Pride”. Hibbert joked that he thought it best to start skipping the Festival because the victory came so easily, although he returned in 2020 with a bright, inspiring “Rise Up Jamaica”.

Maytals began when ska was the most popular music, gradually arising during the transition to Rocksteady and at the forefront of the brighter, more pronounced sound of the late 60s. His aptum tum “Do the Rigg” is widely recognized as the song that gave reggae its name, even if the accolade was spontaneous.

“If a girl did not look so good or she did not dress properly, we would say that she was a streggy.” I was playing one day and I don’t know why I started singing: ‘Days the reggae, do the reggae’ – it just stuck, “he told the Daily Star in 2012.” I thought for a long time. That would be something – everyone is dancing to stop the music. ”