The Reggae Community is sending up up prayers as not only one of the genre’s greatest artistes but the man who actually founded Reggae (Reggay) fights for his life.
Toots Hibbert is in critical condition at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew. The veteran reggae singer was transferred to the medical facility’s intensive care unit on Monday.
“He is fighting for his life. We are still awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test. The family is asking for privacy and prayers at this time as they navigate this difficult period,” Claude Mills, his Jamaica publicist, told 18 Karat Reggae.
“We’re monitoring his progress and we’ll be issuing a statement when we have an update,” he continued.
Meanwhile, members of the music fratnerity took to social media to offer words of encouragement to the 77-year-old entertainer.
Esteemed British label Trojan Records said it hoped Hibbert “makes a speedy recovery”, while British reggae singer Maxi Priest urged fans to pray.
“Prayers and well wishes to my bredrin. Stay strong king. Blessings all around,” Maxi Priest posted.
Fans, too, expressed their well wishes for recovery.
“One of our music icons. Prayers up to a speedy recovery,” one posted on Instagram, while Angella Hunter wrote: “Speedy recovery with God’s blessings.”
Ravin Campbell wrote: “Alright, Toots. You will be okay sir.”
Hibbert was one of the 10 finalists in the recently concluded Jamaica Festival Song Competition — a contest he has won three times.
Still actively touring, he recently released his latest album, Got To Be Tough, on August 28.
Formed in the 1960s, his band Toots and the Maytals helped popularise reggae music. The group’s 1968 single Do The Reggay was the first song to use the word “reggae” naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience.
The group’s popular songs include Monkey Man, Sweet And Dandy, Bam Bam, and Pomps And Pride.