Who Invented Reggae? The Life and Music of Toots Hibbert - Rolling Stone
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Hear Our Podcast on Toots Hibbert and the Birth of Reggae

Rolling Stone Music Now looks back at the life and career of one of the most important reggae artists of all time

FILE - In this May 3, 2018 file photo, Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. In a statement from a family member, Hibbert died on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans on May 3, 2018

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Before Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert (with his vocal group the Maytals) was Jamaica’s biggest star. Hibbert, who died earlier this month, was a key figure in the invention of reggae (he may well have named the genre), and lived a life full of triumphs, drama, and pain — including a prison stint just as his career was first peaking that he insisted was the result of a frame-up.

On the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, Rolling Stone Editor Jason Fine — who recently published a definitive, months-in-the-making profile of Hibbert this year — joins host Brian Hiatt for an in-depth look at Hibbert’s life and music, including Fine’s own adventures with the star. The episode also features never-before-heard audio from Hibbert’s interviews with Fine in Jamaica and elsewhere.

To hear the entire episode right now, press play above or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, the National, Questlove, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast live from SiriusXM’s studios on Volume, channel 106.

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