Kingston 5, Jamaica, West Indies
The man who gave reggae its name, Jamaican icon and legendary reggae songwriter, Frederick Nathaniel "Toots" Hibbert passed away on September 11, 2020. He was a reggae music pioneer along with Bob Marley, who brought Jamaican music to the world.
As a founding member of the music group “Toots and the Maytals”, he was the first to use the term ‘reggay’ in a 1968 song "Do The Reggay".
Toots and the Maytals gained popularity when they won a Jamaica national music contest with the song “Bam, Bam”.
Today, millions of people worldwide have heard the song. It has inspired 1980s dancehall reggae when artist Sister Nancy covered it in a hit song. Other popular samples of the song include a hip hop sample of the 2016 song "Famous" by Kanye West.
In 1962 when Jamaica had newly gained its independence from Great Britain, Toots and the Maytals were the soundtrack performing a celebratory music called Ska, a predecessor to reggae. Toots became the voice of Jamaican music that not only sang about his life experiences but the social issues Jamaicans faced.
Toots Hibbert's influence on reggae will forever remain as a significant part of Jamaican music history.