Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff has honoured his late friend and peer Toots Hibbert with a heartfelt tribute.
The Toots and the Maytals frontman passed away in Jamaica on Friday (September 11), aged 77, and The Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, and Keith Richards were among the first to remember the singer on social media.
Now Cliff has shared his fond memories of Hibbert in an article for RollingStone.com, recalling how their decades-long friendly competition forced each of them to reach new artistic heights and shape the reggae scene forever.
“Toots man, the world will always remember him. He has that amazing, unique voice…,” Cliff gushed.
“What a soul, what a personality, Toots. He’s like the sun. When he walks in, he lights up the place. Whether it’s a show or he’s just walking. He was always saying hi to everyone. What a spirit that man was, what a soul.”
They last met up about three years ago, but remained in touch over the phone, and apart from his creativity and spirit, Cliff will “always remember his kindness”.
He also heaps praise on Hibbert’s final album with his band, the recently-released “Got to Be Tough”, declaring it as “one of the best he’s done”.
“He just leaved us with that great album, and gone (sic)!” Cliff wrote. “It’s one of his best definitely, without a doubt. He had some great songs prior to this, but it took him so long to make this new album. But he left us with something great.”
Meanwhile, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio and Toots’ frequent collaborator, singer Warren Haynes, have also saluted his memory online, as Ziggy Marley, the musician son of Bob Marley, shared his final conversation with the reggae great.
“The Legendary Toots Hibbert has passed i spoke w/ (with) him a few wks (weeks) ago told him how much i loved him we laughed & shared our mutual respect,” Ziggy tweeted. “He was a father figure to me his spirit is w/us his music fills us w/his energy i will never forget him (sic)”.