by Howard Campbell
Kingston, Jamaica – In a gracious gesture from one reggae legend to another, Jimmy Cliff is calling for “positive energies” to help Toots Hibbert who is in a medically-induced coma in their native Jamaica.
In a video post on his Facebook page, Cliff said, “Blessed love to everyone. Today I heard some not so good news about my friend and fellow artiste, Toots of Toots and the Maytals, that he is an induced coma, so I am sending out positive energy and positive vibrations for him to get well soon, and I am telling my fans and friends to send out the same good energies to him.”
Toots, 77, was admitted to hospital on August 31 after experiencing respiratory problems. He is currently in the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, in critical but stable condition.
Cliff and Toots are contemporaries who had success early in their careers for producer Leslie Kong, a Chinese-Jamaican who produced Bob Marley’s first song.
Kong’s Beverley’s Records produced 54-46, Pressure Drop and Sweet And Dandy, songs that helped make Toots and his group The Maytals world-famous.
Interestingly, Pressure Drop and Sweet And Dandy are included on the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, the 1972 movie that made Cliff a superstar.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s minister of culture and entertainment Olivia “Babsy” Grange, also wished the ailing reggae pioneer well.
“I want to thank Jamaica for their overwhelming support and I’m asking the nation to offer special prayers on Sunday [today] for his full recovery and to pray for his family,” she said.