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Toots and The Maytals takes Grammy for Best Reggae Album

Six months after legendary Maytals frontman, Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert, died from complications relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Toots and The Maytals won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with 'Got to be Tough' on Sunday.

The announcement was made from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, United State, where the 63rd Grammys were held virtually.

Got to be Tough was released in August by Trojan BMG Records.

Toots Hibbert who led The Maytals for over 55 years, died in his native Jamaica in September at age 77.

The album, co-produced by Zak Starkey for his Trojan Jamaica label, features Toots' signature mellowed vocals delivering a burning plea for resilience and strength for a world at the breaking point. The songs addressed various hot-button issues, such as the legacy of slavery and systemic racism in Jamaica, rising economic injustice, and inequities exacerbated by the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cabel 'Jeffrey' Stephenson, former manager of Toots and The Maytals, was elated at the posthumous Grammy win.

“This Grammy is so well deserved and it is a great honour for a legend who gave so much to reggae music. I know that somewhere Toots is smiling down on all of us. He put everything into his music, and this is a fitting end, a brilliant climax to cap off a glorious career,” Stephenson said from his home in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.

"We knew we were going to win it. We made an album for the people of the world. We knew we would have won ‘cause we engaged the voting constituency to vote for Toots Hibbert."

Stephenson thanked integral members of the team who worked behind the scenes, individuals such as producer Zac Starkey; co-producer and engineer Nigel Burrell; Cam Husky from Trojan Jamaica; Eric Baker and the staff of Primary Wave; Minister of Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange; publicist Claude Mills; BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch; and Jonathan Bova from BMG, who made it possible with all the resources that were necessary; and David Spero and the United Talent Agency.

"We did it!" an elated Stephenson said.

It is Toots and The Maytals’ second Grammy for Best Reggae Album. They won in 2005 with ‘True Love’.

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

Toots was a true reggae icon. His 1968 song, ‘Do The Reggay’, is said to have given the music its name.

Toots has been consistently touring with his band, The Maytals, since the early 1970s when his landmark album ‘Funky Kingston’ (one of the greatest reggae albums of all time) made him a global superstar opening for the Who and the Eagles. He and his band won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005.

His classic songs include ‘Bam Bam’, ‘Sweet and Dandy’, ‘Monkey Man’, ‘Take me Home. Country Road’ and ‘Funky Kingston’.

Most of the awards are handed out during the pre-show premiere ceremony, which has started and can be watched live at and via the Recording Academy's YouTube channel. The main awards ceremony begins at 8 pm ET on CBS and Paramount+, and airs live from Los Angeles.

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