Tots Hibbert, reggae pioneer who infused genre with soul, dead 77

Frederick “Tots” Hibbert, frontman of leading Reggae Outfit Tots and Maytles and one of the biggest voices in popular music, died Friday evening at the age of 77.

His family said in a statement, “It is the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel ‘Tots’ Hibbert died peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University of the West Indies University of Jamaica, Kingston.” ” “The family and their management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy in their time of grief. Mr. Hibbert has a wife of 39 years, Miss D, and one of their seven children.

The cause of death was not revealed, but Regev Vishal was admitted to the hospital last month with symptoms of coronovirus. He was later placed in a medically induced coma, where the musician’s representative said he was “fighting for his life.”

“I spoke with him a few weeks ago [and] Told him how much I loved him and what he meant to me. “We laughed and shared our mutual respect. I am completely in sorrow tonight. I will miss her smile and laughter [and] His real nature. [Toots] I had a father for me; His soul is with us [and] His music fills us with his energy. I will never forget him. #founded by

Rip the Math and Powerful NYAH FYAH BALL, “referring to the pony’s nickname,” he said. ”

Hibbert died just weeks after Tobots and Mittles released their new album. Has become difficultThe band’s first full-length LP in more than 10 years and now a capstone for Hibbert’s remarkable six-decade career. Hibbert not only played a key role in bringing reggae to the world, but also coined his name – and from his own account – on his 1968 song “Do the Rigay”.

To create this new genre, Hibbert infected Reggie pioneers such as Rocksteady and Ska with elements of traditional Jamaican mento, as well as gospel, soul, R&B, and rock and roll. He could start the party as easily, as could the spiritual contemplation and social-justice rallying cry, all in a tone that Otis remembers the likes of Redding and Ray Charles, but always “Tots” apart. Were.

Hibbert was born December 8, 1942, May Penn, Jamaica, in a town 30 miles west of Kingston. His parents – his father a land- and business owner; His mother was a nurse and midwife – both seventh-day Adventist preachers. Hibbert, his brothers and their sisters would spend their lives after schooling in church.

Hibbert’s mother died when she was eight years old, her father died three years later. As a teenager, Hibbert moved to Kingston, where he lived with his older brother John (who nicknamed him “Little Tots”) and worked in the barbershop. In 1962, the same year Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom, singers Jerry Matthias and Raley Gordon were heard singing toots in Nighthop and the trio formed Maytal.

The group cut a string of early singles at Coxson Dodd’s Studio One, including their debut hits, party-starter “Fever” and more gospel-inspired numbers such as “The Six and Seven Books of Moses”. In 1966, Maytles won the first Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with “Bam Bam”, which came with a defining statement from Habibert, which opens with the lines, “I want you to know I’m a man / One who fights for right, not for wrong. “(The group would win the competition again in 1969 and 1972.)

In the mid-sixties, the memults were at the forefront of a fast-growing musical environment, including Bob Marley and Valers, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Peter Tosh, and other upcoming giants such as Jimmy Cliff. “It was competitive and friendly, a golden time,” Hibbert recalled recently for a profile Rolling stone.

But just as his career was on a horizon tour of England, Hibbert was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1967 and spent nine months in a low-security prison. Hibbert has maintained his innocence to this day, stating that it could be a setup set up by music-industry rivals, though he never went so far as to name it. But despite this uncomfortable uproar, Hibbert’s career was hardly a hit: upon his release, Tots and the Meattle recorded “54-46, That’s My Number,” a song of righteous indignation inspired by Hibbert’s persecution. Which became the group’s first major hit outside Jamaica. .

Over the next few years, Tots and Maytles produced an incredible run, which would help define reggae and spread its music across England, Europe and the United States. There were hit singles such as “Monkey Man” and “Pomp and Pride”, and then career-defining performances – “Pressure Drop” and “Sweet and Dandy” – a Jimmy Cliff cult classic, performed in 1972 the harder They Come. By the time Totes and Meitel were released, their semifinal album had become, Funky kingstonIn 1973, he cultivated that type of mystery outside Jamaica, which would strengthen his mythological status in later years.

The next two records of Tots and Maytles, 1973 in the darkness And is from 1976 Reggae got sole, Were equally well received, and the band created opening spots for acts such as Who and the Eagles. The group toured and recorded regularly throughout the Seventies, and by the end of the decade, their music proved crucial to the fledgling punk movement. (Clash was one of several acts to cover “Pressure Drop”.) In 1980, Tots and Maytal entered the record book, as well as recorded, pressed and released a live album, Live in the policeIn just 24 hours.

The group split up in the early eighth century, and while Hibbert continued to tour regularly as a solo artist, he did not cut another album until 1988. Tots in Memphis. The record paired him with the Jamaican duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and earned Hibbert his first Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Recordings. In the mid-nineties, Hibbert reformed Tots and Mytles – although this time without co-founders Matthias and Gordon – touring and kicking off a more prolific period of studio work.

In 2004, Tots and Maytles released a late career standout, true loveA duet album that found the reopening of some of its most famous tracks with an array of guests including Willie Nelson, Bonnie Rhett, Shaggy, Eric Clapton, The Roots, Trey Anastasio, No Doubt, Keith Richards and Bunny Volleyer. true love Won Best Reg Album in 47th Grammar.

“As a singer, she’s amazing,” Richards told Rolling stone Of Hibbert “His voice reminds me a lot of Otis Redding’s time. When you hear him ‘hurting my heart’, it is an unnatural resemblance. I think he knows himself. He is his own man, and he knows that the contribution he has made is why he is still around. You know, whenever I get a call from Tots, I run.

Hibbert continued to tour regularly, though in 2013 a fan threw a bottle of vodka onto the stage during a Virginia concert that hit Hibbert in the head. He faced uproar and canceled the rest of his shows. In June 2016, Hibbert finally returned to the stage, while he threw himself into his work at his home studio – the so-called reggae center, even battling headaches and injury-related anxiety.

As hibbert pointed out Rolling stone, He felt compelled to work to provide for friends and family. (Despite all his success, Hibbert – like so many reggae artists – was at the end of an array of bad and exploitative contracts; he said he can’t even see royalty at his music’s arrival terminal in Kingston. Airport. )

Hibbert’s work at the reggae center culminated in a wild, two-day recording session at the end of last year, resulting in Tots and Maytles’ Has become difficult. The album was produced by Jak Stark, and features contributions from Starkey’s father, Ringo Starr, as well as Sly Dunbar, Cyril Neville and Ziggy Marley, who featured in the Toats on the cover of Bob Jolly’s “Three Little Birds” Occur. As the final offering of his career, it gives Hibbert the role he always plays, and communicates the things he always communicates.

“I don’t know how I knew that I would become a prophet,” he told Rolling stone. “It was mystically moving the Spirit of the Lord through me, it was in me. To be a prophet you have to believe in yourself, believe in God, believe in what you do. You take your time, and you do not try to show. The Prophet may be a spiritual person or fortune-teller, but if you tell someone something and it is not true, they will no longer believe it. I will always I try to tell the truth. “