*Reggae fans around the world are mourning the passing of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the lead singer and songwriter of Toots and the Maytals.
Hilbert, hailed as one of reggae’s foundational figures, died Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 77.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica,” read a statement that posted on the band’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Toots was not only one of reggae’s cornerstones, he was a staple on the road, even appearing on stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform “Louie Louie” during a wild, 2011 New Year’s Eve bash in St. Barts. Hilbert was also featured on Willie Nelson’s album, .
Then there was the time Toots Hilbert was injured in 2013 when someone in the audience threw a bottle at his head. The man was arrested, and when it came time for sentencing, Toots asked for leniency, saying, “He is a young man, and I have heard what happens to young men in jail.” The guy got still got time behind bars, but it was only 6 months.
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