Reggae icon Toots Hibbert is alive and still fighting despite recent rumors claiming he died.
Jamaica’s Entertainment Minister Olivia Babsy Grange has shot down rumors that Frederick “Toots” Hibbert of iconic reggae pioneers Toots and the Maytals has passed away. Chiding those spreading the rumors, the Minister said, “Toots’ condition is stable as it has been for the last few days. His condition is being closely monitored by doctors. The report (about him dying) is false.” Her update included the assurance that though he was very ill, he was slowly progressing towards a full recovery. She also stated that persons interested in showing support for Toots could do so by donating blood at the Slipe UHWI or at Slipe Pen Road.
Widespread rumors of Toot’s untimely passing began circulating on Tuesday, prompting Minister Grange to step in and set the record straight. Weeks ago, the “54-46” singer took a Covid-19 test after complaining of difficulty breathing and, at one point, was in a medically induced coma at the UHWI hospital. So far, many fans and supporters, including Maxi Priest, have encouraged others to pray for his recovery. Hibbert’s illness comes on the heels of his latest album “Got To Be Tough,” his first studio release in over a decade.
Released globally via Trojan Jamaica/BMG Records on August 28, the first single of the same name was met with positive reviews and has since gained over 1 million views on Youtube. Toots Hibbert also participated in this year’s Jamaica Festival Song Competition before falling ill amid the surge in coronavirus cases. His family is also asking for privacy at this time as they continue to grapple with the illness of their loved one. Minister Grange echoed that sentiment asking the public to show respect where it is due and to stop spreading false rumors at this difficult time. She encouraged plenty of positivity for Toot’s recovery.
We will keep you updated on any new developments on Toots’ condition.