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Toots Hibbert

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Toots Hibbert (born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, 10 December 1945, May Pen, Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica) is a ska and roots reggae singer and leader of the reggae band Toots and The Maytals.

As the youngest of seven children, he grew up singing gospel music in a church choir, but went to Kingston when he was a teenager in the early 1960s. In Kingston he met Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Matthias, and they formed The Maytals. The Maytals became one of the most popular vocal groups in Jamaica in the 1960s, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee and Leslie Kong. This success included winning Jamaica’s National Popular Song Contest three times with songs Hibbert wrote: in 1966 with “Bam Bam”, 1969 with “Sweet and Dandy”, and 1972 with “Pomps & Pride”.

Hibbert was one of the first artists to use the word reggae, in 1968’s “Do The Reggay”, an early reggae song. He also appeared in the groundbreaking Jamaican film The Harder They Come. Toots still tours the world today, and his band won the Grammy for best reggae album in 2004. In 2006, Toots and the Maytals covered Radiohead’s “Let Down” for the Easy Star All-Stars album Radiodread, a reggae version of the English rock band’s OK Computer.

Much of Hibbert’s recorded output reflects his mainstream evangelical Christian upbringing. He has been known to also write about Rastafarian themes as well. He also can play every instrument in his band.

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