Prayers for Toots Hibbert: the reggae icon is fighting for his life

It was just five days ago that the historic Jamaican singer-songwriter Frederick “Toots” Hibbert released a new album with Toots and the Maytals after 10 years. Yesterday, as reported by various media, entered an induced coma in which he is stable, while his family calls to pray for the artist considered the father, the inventor, the first to use the word "Reggae".

The singer of "54-46 that's my number" would be admitted to the West Indies university hospital, and Kingston, Jamaica, waiting for COVID-19 test results, after presenting respiratory problems, according to his manager in the local newspaper Jamaica Gleaner.

"We need prayers right now, Toots is a mighty soldier on the battlefield. It's a difficult time, but UHWI doctors and consultants, with the help of Dr.. Shernette Bryan, they are working 24 hours, the 7 days of the week to save him and we thank you for your efforts. We know that it will come through; he is a true warrior. The Hibbert family is asking for privacy at this time as they gather around him. ", Hibbert's manager said, Cabel Stephenson al portal Loop News.

It's been less than a week since the prolific creator of classics - who has been in business for nearly six decades -, released his latest album "Got To Be Tough" under the Trojan Jamaica label. In this new work of 10 songs, the musician and producer combines different musical styles that marked his history throughout his career, going from reggae to ska, el funk, blues, jazz, soul and even rock.

Produced by Toots himself, who also plays many of the instruments on the album, “Got To Be Tough” was recorded with renowned musicians like Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) on the guitar, Sly Dunbar (Sly and Robbie) on drums and Cyril Neville on percussion. The album has Ziggy Marley as its only guest., with whom he covers the classic Bob Marley, “Three Little Birds”.

In an interview published two days ago by Vogue magazine about the launch of the new album, in a conversation with the journalist and when asked whether it is true or false, the singer confirmed to be the inventor of the word "Reggae":

"It is a true story: I am the man who coined the word “reggae”. The music was already playing in Jamaica, but no one really knew what to call her. I took the word from a slang word we have in Jamaica called “streggae”, that it was just a nickname for people who don't dress properly, people who don't look good, girls or boys, we say, “Aaaaye. . . that's streggae! ” So together with Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Mathias we were recording songs one day and I said: “Let's do the reggay”. We never planned it, but all these years later, I am proud to continue making a living with reggae ", Hibbert told.

This afternoon the family published a statement on their networks confirming the news about his state of health, through which they called on the public and all Reggae lovers to pray for him.

It should be noted that the news comes just after the last two weeks the island suffered a rise in infections, increasing by more than 100 daily cases. The new positives raise to 2.683 the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the island, in the electoral process.

With 78 year old, Hibbert is one of Jamaica's most touring artists and is known for his long sets on stages around the world.. He has been on tour constantly with his band, los Maytals, since the beginning of the decade 1970, when his landmark album "Funky Kingston" made him a global superstar, opening at that time for groups like "The Who" and "The Eagles". In 2005 the band Toots and the Maytals won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album and in 2012 received the Order of Distinction medal awarded by the government of Jamaica.