Artist picture of Toots & The Maytals

Toots & The Maytals

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With a passionate, soulful style, an exciting stage act and irresistible rhythms, Toots And The Maytals were one of the most influential acts in bringing reggae to international attention. Their founder, front man and primary figure throughout their long career has always been Jamaican singer and guitarist Toots Hibbert, the youngest of seven children, who grew up singing gospel music in a church choir. Moving to Kingston in his teens he formed the Maytals with Nathaniel Matthias and Henry Gordon and met producer Clarence "Coxsone" Dodd, who was impressed by their close harmony vocals and put them in the studio with his house band The Skatalites. They went on to record with Prince Buster and Byron Lee and came to wider attention winning the Jamaican Independence Festival Song competition. After a spell in prison Toots and the band began working with producer Leslie Kong, a productive partnership that resulted in a string of late 1960s hits fusing claypso and R&B with insistent rhythms, including Do The Reggay (regarded as the first use of the word 'reggae' in song), 54-46 That's My Number, Pressure Drop and, their first international hit, Monkey Man. The hits continued in the 1970s with Funky Kingston and Reggae Got Soul and although they never received the international acclaim as their contemporaries Bob Marley And The Wailers, they were important figures in developing ska and popularising reggae around the world. The onset of punk rejuvenated them after The Specials and The Clash covered Monkey Man and Pressure Drop respectively, but they split in the 1980s after a glittering run that had brought them 31 Number 1 hits in Jamaica.. They reunited in 2005, collaborating with Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots and Shaggy on True Love, re-recording their old hits. Amy Winehouse also recorded a cover of Monkey Man. Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved