Entertainment

PRESSURE DROP - Toots recovering from throat surgery

HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer Senior Writer

Sunday, January 08, 2012    

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REGGAE great Toots Hibbert, who recently underwent throat surgery, is recuperating and is expected to resume touring soon.

Toots's agent, Andrea Davis told the Sunday Observer that he is in good health and scheduled to honour several intimate dates within the next three weeks. She said his last performance was New Year's Eve on the island of St Barts.

Davis did not give details of what led to Toots's surgery, but said throat complications forced him to postpone two shows on the British leg of his European tour in September. He rescheduled those shows but underwent surgery on his return to Jamaica.

Toots, who is in his late 60s, has been the biggest touring act in reggae for over 10 years. In the last decade, his music has been embraced by a new generation of fans in Europe, North America and Australia.

He has collaborated with long-time admirers including rock superstar Eric Clapton, country legend Willie Nelson and blues singer Bonnie Raitt. He has also toured with American singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow and British singer James Blunt.

Davis says this year will see the release of Reggae Got Soul — an hour-long documentary about Toots — on DVD. The package also includes a special acoustic performance by the singer.

Toots was born Frederick Hibbert in Clarendon. His soul-drenched delivery was responsible for numerous hit songs during the 1960s, when he and his backup group the Maytals recorded for various producers like Clement Dodd, Byron Lee and Leslie Kong.

Their greatest triumphs were with Kong, the first person to record Bob Marley and the man behind the success of Derrick Morgan and Desmond Dekker. Many of the songs Toots made for Kong, such as 54-46, Monkey Man and Pressure Drop are reggae staples that remain popular with fans worldwide.

Toots won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with True Love in 2005.

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