Fri | Aug 7, 2020

‘Got To Be Tough’ - Toots excited about first studio release in more than a decade

Published:Sunday | August 2, 2020 | 12:20 AM
Toots and the Maytals sing ‘Rise Up Jamaicans’.
Toots and the Maytals sing ‘Rise Up Jamaicans’.

Legendary Jamaican artiste Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert is pleased that he was able to contribute to the revitalisation of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition with his participation this year.

“I want to congratulate Buju Banton and all the other contestants, all the beautiful girls and all my brethrens who played a role in the contest. This contest was what Jamaica needed. It was all about elevating Jamaicans and raising the level of the Festival Song contest and delivering a positive message,” a jovial Toots Hibbert said.

“You don’t have to tell me that I won. I am a winner, I won already!” he added, laughing.


Buju Banton emerged as the winner of a star-studded field of contestants at this year’s Jamaica Festival Song contest.

“I was asked to come and participate, and that’s why I did Rise Up Jamaicans because we have to elevate and uplift Jamaicans and also rise up the level of the contest and to tell my people, ‘Don’t give up. Beware the coronavirus, but still rise.’ And I feel great to have been part of that whole process,” he said.

Toots and The Maytals are three-time winners, winning for the first time with Bam Bam before going on to emerge victorious in 1969 with Sweet and Dandy and again in 1972 with the immensely popular Pomps and Pride.

Hibbert, 78, is now turning his attention towards his first studio release in more than a decade. The album, Got To Be Tough, recorded with The Maytals, is an energising provocation that renews the near-six-decade career of the man who launched a new sound and genre with his 1968 release, Do The Reggay.

“This album is going to be amazing,” he said.

The album will be their debut project on the Trojan Jamaica imprint, to which they signed in October.

The single comes with the welcome news of a full-length Toots and The Maytals studio album release – of the same title as the single – set for global release via Trojan Jamaica/BMG Records on August 28.

“The single Got to Be Tough is the lead single, and it is telling everyone that they have to be tough and resilient. Don’t give up, believe in yourself, believe in God and what you are doing, and it will all work out in the end,” he said.

A video for the single has already racked up over 1.1 million views in only one month.