Iconic reggae performer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the frontman for Toots and The Maytals has been hospitalized and tested for COVID-19 (with results pending) according to a press statement sent to Pitchfork. The performer is currently being taken care of in an intensive care unit at a private facility in Kingston, Jamaica.
“While reports of Mr. Hibbert being in an intensive care unit at a private facility in the Corporate Area are true, the family would like to assure those concerned that he is making positive progress and is receiving the best possible treatment, while he awaits the results on his COVID-19 test. He is resting and in good spirits, and is showing signs of improvement by the hour,” a statement reads.
Originally formed as The Maytals in the early 1960s, the group were responsible for the 1968 hit song “Do the Reggay,” which was credited as being the first popular song to use the word reggae, giving the genre its name, while opening its doors to an international audience. During the 1970s the band saw international success with their 1972 record Funky Kingston. In 2004 the group won Best Reggae Album of the Year for their 2004 record True Love, while Hibbert was named one of the 100 Greatest Singers by Rolling Stone.
The group released Got To Be Tough last month ending a nine year hiatus from Pressure Drop – The Golden Tracks. The album’s title-track discusses being tough in difficult times, which can help encapsulate the current health pandemic and social injustices going on in the country.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz