Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Toots’ legacy can never die, daughter says of Grammy nomination

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2020 | 12:19 AM
Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert is the late frontman of Toots and the Maytals, which earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Reggae Album category for ‘Got to be Tough’.
Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert is the late frontman of Toots and the Maytals, which earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Reggae Album category for ‘Got to be Tough’.

Clifton ‘Jackie’ Jackson, a long-standing member of iconic ska, rocksteady and reggae band, Toots and the Maytals, was quite modest when interviewed by The Gleaner shortly after the 2021 Grammy nominees in the Best Reggae Album category were announced yesterday.

“Well, we tried our best,” an elated Jackson said. “Of course, the only thing that would make it better is if Toots was here to share with us in this joy.”

The Recording Academy revealed that this year’s nominees for Best Reggae Album are Upside Down 2020 by Buju Banton; Skip Marley’s Higher Place; One World from reggae group The Wailers; Maxi Priest’s It All Comes Back To Love; and Got To Be Tough by Toots and the Maytals.

It was in June this year that Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert and his band announced the impending release of Got to Be Tough, their first studio album in 10 years, and shared a debut single of the same name. The album itself was released by Trojan Jamaica/BMG on August 28, to critical acclaim.

Toots’ daughter, Jenieve Hibbert Bailey, was ecstatic at the recent honour. “A Grammy nomination! I am elated! I am very happy that all the hard work that my father and his band put in on this album is being recognised. As with everything else, he did it with a lot of love and passion. Of course, we are still in mourning, but this is evidence of Toots Hibbert’s legacy, which can never die,” she told The Gleaner.

Jackson, the bass player, who was an important session musician on ska, rocksteady and reggae records in the 1960s and 1970s, admitted that he was not caught off guard by the Grammy nomination. “Even if I say so myself, it is a good album, and we expected this. It doesn’t come as a surprise, and winning will not be a surprise, either,” Jackson said with a laugh.

A five-time Grammy nominee, Toots and the Maytals won the Grammy Award in 2005 for their album, True Love.

The late reggae singer and cultural icon joined a select list of distinguished Jamaicans who have been interred at the National Heroes Park in Kingston. A ceremony was held on November 15, attended by close family as well as Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange.

Toots died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew on September 11 at age 77 after a short illness.

The Recording Academy noted that although the world continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic, viewers at home will still be able to celebrate the best in music as the 63rd annual Grammy Awards is set to air on CBS at 8 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2021.

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah will host the ceremony.