Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, one of reggae’s most influential musicians, died Friday in Jamaica, his band Toots and the Maytals said in a statement on Twitter.
Hibbert, 77, helped popularize Jamaican reggae in the 1960s and even claimed to have coined the musical genre on the group’s 1968 song “Do the Reggay.”
Hibbert’s family said he “passed away peacefully” at the University Hospital of the West Indies, according to the statement. He had been recently admitted to hospital with COVID-19-like symptoms, but no cause of death was revealed.
Hibbert, who was often referred to as the Otis Redding of Jamaica for his deep voice, was later placed in a medically-induced coma and a family spokesman said “he was fighting for his life,” according to the BBC.