Wed | Sep 30, 2020

IOJ hails Toots Hibbert

Published:Thursday | September 17, 2020 | 12:15 AM
Big Youth (left) and Toots share the stage at the opening  of the ‘Jamaica Jamaica’ exhibition at the National Gallery on February 2, 2020.
Big Youth (left) and Toots share the stage at the opening of the ‘Jamaica Jamaica’ exhibition at the National Gallery on February 2, 2020.
From left, Herbie Miller, Director of the Jamaica Music Museum, Toots Hibbert, and  Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport at the opening of the ‘Jamaica Jamaica’ exhibition at the National Gallery in February.
From left, Herbie Miller, Director of the Jamaica Music Museum, Toots Hibbert, and Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport at the opening of the ‘Jamaica Jamaica’ exhibition at the National Gallery in February.
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The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) has hailed ska and reggae legend Toots Hibbert as a singer who embodied the mission of the institute by ensuring his contributions to the Jamaican culture have been preserved and will live on for generations to come.

The IOJ disclosed that in February of this year, Toots donated his Yamaha guitar to the Jamaica Music Museum, the custodians of the national collection. This handover took place at the ‘Jamaica Jamaica’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica.

The donation was received by Herbie Miller, director of the Jamaica Music Museum, and Olivia Grange, Minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport.

“We extends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. He was a Reggae music icon who dedicated his life and work to the growth and longevity of the genre. We celebrate his life as he has now entered into the valley with the shining light, and we know that he will add to that shining light,” the IOJ said in a release.

Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert, the frontman for the band Toots and the Maytals passed away peacefully on Friday, surrounded by his family, at the University Hospital of the West Indies. He was 77.

Toots, whose catalogue includes songs such as 54-46 (Was My Number), Bam Bam, Monkey Man, Reggae Got Soul and Sweet And Dandy, also had acting credits. In 1972, he appeared in the cult classic film, The Harder They Come, and one of his songs, Pressure Drop, was part of the film’s soundtrack. Upon Toots’ passing, Pressure Drop soared to the top of the iTunes Top 100 Reggae singles chart.