The reggae fraternity has a lot to mourn this year with the passing of several veterans. One of the most notable to pass on this year was Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals. Since his passing, fans have been calling for his contribution to be properly honored. The band has been nominated for Best Reggae Album at the Grammy’s for their latest work, “Got to be Tough.”
One such accolade that has been sought after is for him to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. The initiative is being pioneered by reggae historian Roger Steffens and Mike Pawka of niceup.com. They’ve revealed that so far, the petition has achieved 3,600 of the 5,000 signatures sought.
Steffens spoke with the Jamaica Observer about the initiative and what they hope to accomplish. He said that once 5,000 or more signatures are achieved, they will approach the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. They are the administrators who consider who qualifies for induction.
If the bid is successful, Toots Hibbert, who died in September, will become just the third reggae artiste inducted into the archive. Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff are the other two who were placed in 1994 and 2010, respectively.
Steffens added that he believed Toots has a good chance of being given the prestigious title, “There are several people [out] there now who are quite sympathetic to our cause, and given the strength of his final release, just nominated for the Reggae Grammy, I think we have a very good chance that he will be inducted next year,” he said. The new inductees for 2021 are expected to be chosen next April. Steffens added that Toots’ longevity and diverse catalogue, are reasons enough for him to join the elite acts of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.