Toots Hibbert
Second Grammy win for Toots and The Maytals

SINGER Leba Hibbert is overjoyed that Got to Be Tough, the last studio album released by Toots and The Maytals, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album yesterday.

The event was held virtually at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The band's leader was her father, Toots Hibbert, who died last September due to complications from COVID-19.

“This is so bittersweet. He died and didn't get to accept the award himself. However, we are celebrating his win and we are grateful,” Hibbert, who also provided back-up duties for her father, told the Jamaica Observer shortly after the announcement

“This signifies more recognition to my father's work and more fans. This is a great record and the songs speak about the times that we are living in. I'd say his win is historical,” she added.

Another of Hibbert's children, gospel singer Jenieve Bailey, was elated.

“This is great news. Dad has worked very hard. It took him 10 years, as he wanted his fans to really have a great experience through this album and we, the family members, are elated that his hard work paid off. We're happy,” said Bailey.

Bass guitarist Jackie Jackson, an original member of The Maytals band, was equally happy.

“This is a great honour for a legend and so very well-deserved. He gave us a lifetime of hits beginning in the ska era and throughout the generations. My only regret is that he's not here to share it with us one more time,” he said.

Toots and The Maytals won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005 for True Love. Their previous nominations were Toots in Memphis (1989), An Hour Live (1991), Ska Father (1999), Light Your Light (2008), and Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged on Strawberry Hill (2013).

Got to Be Tough was released on August 28, 2020. It was the seventh nomination for Toots and sixth overall nomination for The Maytals.

The other nominees in this year's Best Reggae Album category were Higher Place by Skip Marley, Maxi Priest's It All Comes Back to Love, Buju Banton's Upside Down 2020, and One World by The Wailers.

The Trojan Jamaica/BMG set is the veteran act's first release in more than a decade. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart and has to date sold more than 5,186 copies in the United States. It also spent multiple weeks at number one on the sales-driven US Current Reggae Albums Chart.

In other Grammy news, John Legend won Best R&B Album for Bigger Love. It features the collaboration Don't Walk Away with Koffee.

Toot Hibbert (left), frontman of Toots and The Maytals, sharinglens time with band members in the lobby at the K West Hotelin Kensington, London, England, in 2017. Standing are: bassguitarist Jackie Jackson and drummer Paul Douglas. Seated areCarl Harvey, guitarist; Radcliffe “Douggie” Bryan, guitarist; andCharles Farquharson, keyboard player.
Toots Hibbert
BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

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