Jenieve Bailey Reminisces About Her Legendary Father, Toots Hibbert, Reggae Icon

On the eve of Toots Hibbert’s funeral service in Jamaica, Jenieve Bailey remembered her father as a selfless soul who never revelled in his status as a legend.

“He was a people person. He loved people and made you feel absolutely comfortable…there were no airs about Daddy,” she said, “He never behaved entitled; I realize that’s what people loved about him.

Toots, one of reggae’s greatest performers, died on September 11 at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. He was 77.

There will be a private funeral ceremony in Kingston to be attended by close relatives, followed by internment at the Dovecot cemetery in nearby St. Catherine parish.

The singer was admitted to hospital on August 29 after experiencing respiratory problems. His cause of death was coronavirus-related.

Bailey, a gospel artist, said she last spoke to her father in August. He was expected to contribute vocals to her upcoming album.

She added that his passing was a great loss for her family.

“It’s been rough, we weren’t expecting this. We know that death is a certain path but we weren’t expecting this,” she said.

Bailey has released a number of gospel songs and provided vocals for some of her father’s albums including True Love which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005.

Toots’ career was studded by hit songs like Bam Bam, 54-46, Funky Kingston, Pressure Drop, Monkey Man and Do The Reggay.

The latter was released in 1968 and is reportedly the first song to reference the word ‘reggae’.

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