By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 14, 2020: Caribbean artists joined many Caribbean fans of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert in paying tribute to the reggae legend, who passed away late on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 after a battle with COVID-19 at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 77.
“What a soul, what a personality, Toots. He’s like the sun. When he walks in, he lights up the place. Whether it’s a show or he’s just walking. He was always saying hi to everyone. What a spirit that man was, what a soul,” Jimmy Cliff, writing in a tribute to Hibbert for Rolling Stone stated. “His spirit will always be resonating with us. His soul will always be resonating with us and the people who loved his music.”
“The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed,” tweeted Ziggy Marley, “I spoke w/him a few wks ago told him how much i loved him we laughed & shared our mutual respect. He was a father figure to me his spirit is w/us his music fills us w/his energy i will never forget him RIP MIGHTY & POWERFUL NYAH FYAH BALL ?.”
Reggae star Shaggy posted on IG: “We lost a Legend of our culture today’ I knew this man well and understood the work and contribution he gave to our music. May he forever be recognized! Rest well my brother thank you for the culture and the music, your classics will live on. R.I.P. #tootshibbert condolences to the family!” while Buju Banton wrote under a photo of Toots, “My brother. With so much love. Rest well.”
The VOICE Tessanne Chin also took to Instagram to post: “To the Legend, Sir Toots … You are terrific, you’re beautiful, you can sing and we love you Soo Bad!!! God bless you on your journey Sir and thank you ? ??”
Chis Blackwell, the founder of Island Records tweeted: “Very saddened to hear of the passing of Toots Hibbert. I’ve known Toots longer than anybody… Toots is one of the purest human beings I’ve met in my life, pure almost to a fault.”
Patricia ‘Miss. Pat’ Chin, Matriarch of VP Records remembered Toots fondly from her home in New York. “Toots was the type of artist who commanded the stage. His passing has hit us hard, but his voice will always be heard,” she said.
The singer’s illness and subsequent death came on the heels of the release of ‘Got To Be Tough,’ the ska and rocksteady vocal group’s first album in a decade. Hibbert was the front man of the group whose soulful vocal style has been compared to Otis Redding.
The group’s popular songs include “54-46 – That’s My Number,” “Monkey Man,” and “Do The Reggay.”