Legendary reggae singer Toots Hibbert has died at the age of 77.
The musician, who was the frontman of pioneering reggae group Toots And The Maytals, died in hospital in Jamaica on Friday night, his representative confirmed.
Toots, whose real name was Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, was being treated for suspected coronavirus at the University Hospital of the West Indies in the Caribbean island’s capital, Kingston.
However, his cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
A statement from his representative said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.
“The family and management would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief.
“Mr Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Miss D, and his seven of eight children.”
On September 1, Toots’ management confirmed he had been admitted to intensive care with suspected Covid-19 and was awaiting the results of a test.
They said he was “resting and in good spirits, and is showing signs of improvement by the hour”.
Toots And The Maytals’ hits include 54-46 (That’s My Number) and Pressure Drop, while their 1968 single Do The Reggay is credited with giving the reggae genre its name.
They released Got To Be Tough – their first album in a decade – last month, which included a cover of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, featuring his son Ziggy Marley.
Ziggy was among the first to pay tribute to Toots online.
He tweeted: “The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed 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.”
Sir Lenny Henry added: “So sorry to hear of Toots Hibbert’s death. His music was a constant in our house growing up via Tighten up albums. His voice was powerful and adaptable to funk, soul, country, AND reggae. Rest in power…”
Many other names from across the music industry also paid tribute online...