Grange makes appeal for Toots

Grange makes appeal for Toots

Minister asks for blood donation

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor ---
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

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OLIVIA “Babsy” Grange, entertainment and culture minister, is appealing to members of the public to donate blood for veteran reggae singer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert.

“He is slowly making steady progress and being given all the necessary support. He is making steady improvements daily. We are asking those who are desirous of giving support and are willing to do so to donate blood to Mr Hibbert's account at the Blood Bank at the University Hospital of the West Indies or at Slipe Pen Road,” said Grange.

The minister said she has been in close dialogue with the medical team entrusted with the singer's care at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in St Andrew.

Hibbert, 78, has been in critical condition at the hospital since being transferred to the facility's intensive care unit last Monday. He is still in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator.

She also used the opportunity to dismiss rumours that surfaced yesterday that reggae legend Frederick “Toots” Hibbert is dead.

“He's alive. I cannot believe people can be so insensitive,” she told the Jamaica Observer last night.

“Toots's condition is stable as it has been for the last few days. His condition is being closely monitored by doctors; the report is false,” Grange continued.

Yesterday, several calls came to the Jamaica Observer's newsroom enquiring whether there was any truth to social media posts that the reggae legend had passed.

She appealed to members of the public to be responsible in their social media posts and to pray for the artiste's recovery.

“Please display the appropriate respect to Toots and his family. Please desist from spreading these baseless rumours. Exercise some sensitivity, keeping in mind that his family is deeply concerned during this most difficult period. What we all need at this time is a lot of positive thoughts and prayers for Toots's recovery,” she added.

Hibbert was one of the 10 finalists in the recently concluded Jamaica Festival Song Competition — a contest he has won three times.

Still actively touring, he recently released his latest album, Got To Be Tough, on August 28. The band was an opening act for groups such as The Who and Eagles.

Formed in the 1960s, his band Toots and the Maytals helped popularise reggae music. The group's 1968 single Do The Reggay was the first song to use the word 'reggae', naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience.

Toots and the Maytals' popular songs include Monkey Man, Sweet And Dandy, Bam Bam, and Pomps And Pride.

In 2005, the group won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with True Love. Seven years later, he was awarded an Order of Distinction for his contribution to Jamaica's music.

In December 2019, he received a Jamaica Observer Entertainment Award for his efforts in taking reggae global.


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