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Toots Hibbert, GRAMMY-Winning Reggae Pioneer And Founder Of Toots And The Maytals, Dies At 77

Toots Hibbert of Toots And The Maytals performs in London in 1983

Photo: David Corio/Redferns

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Toots Hibbert, GRAMMY-Winning Reggae Pioneer And Founder Of Toots And The Maytals, Dies At 77

Considered to be "one of the fathers of reggae music," a genre he helped globalize, Hibbert was the first known artist to use the word "reggae" on a record

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2020 - 12:23 am

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, who pioneered and helped globalize the reggae genre via his iconic, GRAMMY-winning band Toots And The Maytals, died Friday (Sept. 11) evening. He was 77. 

While no cause of death has been revealed, Hibbert was hospitalized in an intensive care unit in his native Jamaica in August after showing symptoms of the coronavirus. While he was awaiting results from a coronavirus test, he was placed in a medically induced coma in early September. "Toots is fighting for his life and his family is asking for prayers," Claude Mills, Hibbert's publicist, told Jamaican daily newspaper The Gleaner.

Toots And The Maytals confirmed the news of Hibbert's passing in a post shared on the band's official social media accounts Friday night, writing, "It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

"The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief," the post continues.

Born Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert in 1942 in May Pen, Jamaica, he is considered "one of the fathers of reggae music" and is the first known artist to use the word "reggae" on a record, The New York Times writes, as heard on his band's, then known as The Maytals, 1968 song, "Do The Reggay."

Recognized as one of the greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone, Hibbert is known for his powerful, soulful vocal style, which gained him comparisons to soul greats like Otis Redding and Ray Charles. Hibbert is also known for infusing elements of soul music, gospel, R&B, rock 'n' roll and Jamaican mento into Toots And The Maytals' reggae, rocksteady and ska sounds, Rolling Stone writes

Hibbert formed his band, originally known simply as The Maytals, in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1962 alongside Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" Matthias; the group changed its name to Toots And The Maytals in 1972. 

After becoming a big draw within Jamaica's then-nascent ska scene, the group released its debut album, The Sensational Maytals, in 1965. One year later, they won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their song "Bam Bam," which inspired Sister Nancy's 1982 dancehall classic of the same name; the group would go on to win the national song competition in 1969 and 1972, according to Rolling Stone.

In 1967, Hibbert served a nine-month prison term after he was arrested for possession of marijuana; he alleges he was set up by corrupt authorities or music rivals, according to Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. Inspired by the experience, Hibbert wrote the song "54-46 Was My Number," which became one of his group's biggest songs and their first major hit outside Jamaica, Rolling Stone reports. 

The group crossed over into international markets with their third album Funky Kingston, which released in Jamaica and the U.K. in 1972; an alternate version of the album, released in the U.S. in 1975, charted stateside on the Billboard 200 and was voted as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone.

Toots And The Maytals would go on to receive five total GRAMMY nominations in the reggae field, including a GRAMMY win for Best Reggae Album in 2005 for their 2004 album, True Love. Hibbert, who also recorded and performed as a solo artist, received four GRAMMY nominations, including one win for True Love.

On Aug. 28, just three days before Hibbert was first hospitalized, Toots And The Maytals released Got To Be Tough, his first studio album in a decade and the first LP he produced himself; it now marks the final Toots And The Maytals album. 

Last month, GRAMMY Museum Founding Executive Director Bob Santelli interviewed Hibbert about Got To Be Tough as part of the organization's Programs At Home series.

Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Miss D, and his seven of eight children, according to the Toots And The Maytals Twitter account. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

 
This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.