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The Soul of Reggae: Frederick “Toots” Hibbert

By: Kimberley Blair Pleasant

There are many genres of music in our society. All ethnicities of people all over the world use music as an outlet and a way of expressing themselves, and how they express how they feel. One genre of music, Reggae, is one of those genres that is loved cross culturally. Reggae originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It is a popular music of Jamaica and its people.

One of the founding fathers of Reggae was Frederick “Toots” Hibbert. He was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who was also the lead singer of the group Toots and the Maytals. “Toots” Hibbert performed for over six decades and was instrumental in helping to establish some of the fundamentals of Reggae music. “Toots” Hibbert was primarily known among the people of Jamaica, but his music was popular and known around the world for brining laughter, joy, tenderness and sometimes pain, all in a single melody. Songs like his 1968 hit “Do the Reggay,” encompassed all of those feelings.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Toots ”Hibbert as #71 in the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", he was also honored in August 2012, with the Order of Jamaica, the country's fifth highest honor.

Sadly, “Toots” Hibbert died at the age of 77, on Friday September 11, 2020, due to complications of COVID-19. Although this great Reggae Legend is no longer with us his music will live on to bring us laugher, joy and sometimes some tears!

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