Iconic lead vocalist of reggae band Toots and the Maytals Frederick “Toots” Hibbert is currently in the intensive care unit of a private Jamaican hospital. The 77-year-old was sent there after complaining of breathing problems, and he’s now waiting for COVID-19 test results.
A statement was posted on Toots and the Maytals’ Facebook page on Monday, Aug. 31, which addressed the singer’s condition and his level of improvement.
“While reports of Mr. Hibbert being in an intensive care unit at a private facility in the Corporate Area are true, the family would like to assure those concerned that he is making positive progress and is receiving the best possible treatment, while he awaits the results on his Covid-19 test,” the message reads. “He is resting and in good spirits, and is showing signs of improvement by the hour.”
Hibbert is considered a legend in reggae, pushing the genre forward in the mid-1960s and being a trailblazer of its sub-genre ska.
Some of Hibbert and the group’s most famous songs include “54-46 (That’s My Number),” “Funky Kingston,” “Monkey Man,” and “Pressure Drop.”
Earlier this week, Hibbert’s manager Cabel Stephenson told Jamaican publication the Gleaner that Hibbert is staying positive despite his condition. Stephenson also said that a COVID-19 test had to be given to Hibbert in light of his age and the virus still spreading in Jamaica.
The Gleaner reports there have been 2,683 coronavirus cases in Jamaica so far, with 24 deaths.
“We took him to a private facility where they administered some tests but said based on what is happening, they have to do the COVID-19 test for everything to be complete and to rule it out,” Stephenson explained. “It was our wish that he stayed at the hospital where he can be under full observation because of his age and who he is … He’ll be worried only if he’s feeling pain and is uncomfortable in his structure like any human being would.”
Fans of Hibbert’s from all over the world flooded the band’s Facebook page upon hearing about the singer’s condition and sent well-wishes and encouragement.
“You can beat this, Toots! Get well soon,” one message read.
“Listening to Toots right now. Positive thoughts for a full and quick recovery!” wrote another fan.
Last week, Toots and the Maytals released “Got to Be Tough,” their first album in more than a decade.