Reggae legend Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert would have celebrated his 78th birthday on Tuesday. Usually at this time of the year, there would be a large gathering at his home in Kingston as friends and family members would join him to celebrate.
Jenieve Bailey, his eldest daughter, said this year’s December 8th will be heartbreaking for her.
“December 8 this year will be most heartbreaking for me as dad's passing in September has left a deep sadness in my heart. He enjoyed celebrating his birthday with his friends; last year was great for him, he would sometimes say 'GG mi a elder you know... but me strong' and he would laugh it off,” Bailey who is a popular gospel singer
“He would look forward to his birthday calls from me, Emley, Jessica and Clayton because we are living overseas. He would be cracking jokes and just be in very high spirits. This birthday would have been very special for us as he would have been celebrating his Grammy nomination for his new album 'Got to be Tough’. He was successful in winning his court case also so things were looking great for him. I miss his calls, jokes and excellent counsel.”
The Toots and the Maytals frontman passed away in Jamaica at the University Hospital of the West Indies on September 11, but his music continues to make strides. He was nominated for a Reggae Grammy with the album, Got To be Tough', and his huge catalogue of hit songs are a big part of the entertainment landscape. His classic, 'Pressure Drop', is now being used again in beer giant Coors' latest TV commercial for their light beer. “Pressure Drop is a song about revenge but in the form of karma,” Toots told The Guardian newspaper in 2016. “If you do bad things to innocent people, then bad things will happen to you. The title was a phrase I used to say. If someone done me wrong, rather than fight them like a warrior, I would say, ‘The pressure is going to drop on you’,” he explained. 'Pressure Drop' was initially released in 1968. Leslie Kong produced the ska song which was included on the 1970 album, 'Monkey Man'. The track was featured on the soundtrack of the classic film, 'The Harder They Come', which played a significant role in the international success Toots enjoyed. The song also made an appearance on the soundtrack of popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. 'Pressure Drop' garnered further acclaim in 2004 when it was included in Rolling Stone Magazine ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Last month, the body of the reggae legend was interred at National Heroes Park in Kingston, exactly one month after a burial at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine had to be abandoned because the burial order could not be found.