Toots Hibbert, the influential bandleader of reggae group The Maytals, has passed away at the age of 77.
While the details of his passing are not clear, it's understood that Toots was in a medically-induced coma after testing for COVID-19. In a statement released to media, his family confirmed the news.
"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."
The band were influential in popularising reggae as a genre, and are even credited with bringing the name to a wider audience with the song, 'Do The Reggay', released in 1968. Indeed, Toots and the Maytals were often considered "The Beatles" of reggae to Bob Marley and the Wailers' as "The Rolling Stones" by music journalists.
As both a touring and recording artists, Toots Hibbert was incredibly prolific and was performing live well into his seventies. One of their songs, 'Pressure Drop', was featured on the soundtrack for 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas', introducing an entire generation to their music as well.
Previously, the song had featured in the soundtrack for 'The Harder They Come', considered to be one of the most influential movies of the Caribbean and starred reggae sensation Jimmy Cliff in a leading role. As well as this, The Clash had covered the song in 1978.
Here's the song in question.