Toots Hibbert brought out his most recent album, Got to Be Tough, in August. What now stands as his final album is a positive listen, with lyrics about overcoming obstacles and needing more love in your heart, and his voice is as soulful as ever. He produced the album himself and it features Ziggy Marley, Sly Dunbar, Cyril Neville and Zak Starkey. He was busy: during lockdown, he was a finalist in the recent Jamaica festival song competition (a big deal on the island), with the upbeat Rise Up Jamaicans. Toots was massively successful in Jamaica: with the Maytals, he had 31 No 1s there, more than any other artist.
I spoke to Toots over the phone (no visuals, sadly). He was in his studio, drinking orange juice and water. Sometimes he chatted to people in the background. Ebullient and charismatic, he laughed a lot during our chat. He was never less than charming, but I noticed he had a knack of avoiding tricky questions by talking in broad terms rather than detail.
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