Toots Hibbert, founder of reggae, dead at 77

Toots Hibbert, a founder of reggae who coined the term for the music genre and helped build it into an international movement, died Friday. He was 77.

He had been in a medically induced coma at a Kingston hospital since earlier this month. He went to the hospital because of difficulty breathing. He was awaiting results of coronavirus testing after showing symptoms.

He was surrounded by family when he died, according to a statement from his family.

Hibbert was the frontman for Toots & the Maytals. The five-time Grammy nominee is considered one of reggae’s greatest singers and was the voice behind influential hits “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston.”

Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley, shared his condolences on social media.

“I spoke (with) him a few (weeks) ago (and) told him how much I loved him we laughed (and) shared our mutual respect,” Ziggy Marley wrote. “He was a father figure to me. His spirit is (with) us. His music fills us (with) his energy. I will never forget him.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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