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Reggae Legend Frederick ‘Toots’ Hilbert (Toots & The Maytals) Dies AT 77

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*Reggae fans around the world are mourning the passing of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the lead singer and songwriter of Toots and the Maytals.

Hilbert, hailed as one of reggae’s foundational figures, died Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 77.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica,” read a statement that posted on the band’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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Toots Hilbert

Toots Hilbert – Getty

The cause of death was not revealed, but his Facebook account confirmed on Aug. 31 that Hibbert was tested for coronavirus in the last two weeks and placed in intensive care.

Toots was not only one of reggae’s cornerstones, he was a staple on the road, even appearing on stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers to perform “Louie Louie” during a wild, 2011 New Year’s Eve bash in St. Barts. Hilbert was also featured on Willie Nelson’s album, “Countryman.”

Then there was the time Toots Hilbert was injured in 2013 when someone in the audience threw a bottle at his head. The man was arrested, and when it came time for sentencing, Toots asked for leniency, saying, “He is a young man, and I have heard what happens to young men in jail.” The guy got still got time behind bars, but it was only 6 months.

Here’s more about Toots Hilbert via NPR:

Hibbert’s soulful, electrifying performances thrilled live music lovers for more than 50 years and brought a distinctive Jamaican expression to international audiences. His 1968 song “Do The Reggay” gave a name to Jamaica’s signature beat, but his artistry defied boundaries. His vocals are an amalgam of rousing gospel, vintage soul, gritty R&B, and classic country fused with pliant, indigenous Jamaican rhythms. Hibbert brought a stunning island lilt to Otis Redding’s standard “(I’ve Got) Dreams to Remember,” he transformed Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand The Rain” into a scorching serenade, and forever altered John Denver’s “Country Roads” into a beloved sing-along reggae anthem.

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Coronavirus

Alicia Keys Surprises Frontline Workers with New Music on ‘GMA’ (Watch)

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Alicia Keys on “Good Morning America” (Sept. 17, 2020) ABC

*On Thursday’s “Good Morning America” Alicia Keys thanked essential workers on the frontline of America’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a trio of songs at a safe social distance.

During the event in New York City to honor nurses Charles Alfred and Chinyere Okoro, the 15-time Grammy winner sang a trio of songs, “Good Job” and “Love Looks Better” from her new album, “Alicia,” and her NYC anthem “Empire State of Mind.”

Keys, 39, also spoke about her upcoming album — her first since 2016 — as well as her new book, “More Myself,” which she considers a “companion piece” to the self-titled album, out Friday. She said on GMA, “The book takes you up to today and the music takes you from today on. It’s definitely about all sides of us as people.

“I have so many sides to myself — we all do — and I’ve been embracing that on this music, so you’re going to love it,” she added. “It’s going to take you to many places and many reflections.”

Watch her interview and performances below or view here at goodmorningamerica.com.

“Good Job” and “Empire State of Mind”

“Love Looks Better”

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Anti-Masker Buffoonery: Target Dance Mob; South Dakota School Board; Dr. Phil Grills ‘Trader Joe’s Karen’ (Watch)

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*A flurry of anti-masker antics have gone viral in recent days, from the “Trader Joe’s Karen” who now tells Dr. Phil that she is not a Karen, to the man who had to be dragged out of a South Dakota school board meeting, to the “flash mob” dancing maskless through the aisles of a Florida Target.

The Target Tomfoolery involved a bunch of maskless demonstrators – some in MAGA gear – barreling through the store while hollering, “This is America!” and yelling at customers to take off their masks – as Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” blared from someone’s phone. According to HuffPost, the video, “apparently taken by someone shopping in the store, popped up on Reddit, and later on Twitter.”

Swinging West to South Dakota, police physically dragged this maskless man out of a school board meeting about the district’s mask mandate. According to the Mitchell Republic, the man has been identified as Reed Bender, a local resident who has spoken out against mask mandates in the past. He refused to wear a mask during the meeting, even after district officials offered him one. So Superintendent Joe Graves called the cops.

And then there’s this lady, who went viral in June after having a mask meltdown at her local Trader Joe’s in North Hollywood, Calif. She’s gone viral again after appearing on Dr. Phil to explain herself. “I am not a Karen,” she said on the show.

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Ellesia Blaque of Philly Vs. Trump: Professor Basically Tells 45 to Shut Up and Let Her Finish (Watch)

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Ellesia Blaque asks President Trump about protecting pre-existing conditions in his attempt to repeal the ACA at ABC News’ Town Hall on Sept. 15, 2020 in Philadelphia

*He can interrupt people all he wants to without pushback because he’s the so-called POTUS, but not Ellesia Blaque of greater Philadelphia. Not last night.

The assistant professor of literature at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania was one of the few masked, socially-distant audience members in attendance at President’s Trump’s town hall moderated by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. Blaque told the president that she was born with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that qualifies as a pre-existing condition under the Affordable Care Act. She reminded Trump that “Obamacare” assured that folks with pre-existing conditions would not get charged more by insurers. But she’s still shelling out over $7,000 a year in copays due to her condition.

Her exchange with Trump began: “Mr. President, I was born with a disease called sarcoidosis, and from the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes, into my optic nerves, and when I went to graduate school, into my brain.”

Blaque told Trump: “Should preexisting conditions, which ObamaCare brought to fruition, be removed…”

“No,” Trump began while she was still talking.

“Please stop and let me finish my question, sir. Should that be removed, within a 36 to 72-hour period, without my medication, I will be dead,” she continued. “And I want to know what it is you’re going to do to assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured. It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a Black woman and in the medical community I’m minimized and not taken seriously.”

Watch Blaque’s entire moment below:

Trump also addressed questions about the country’s systemic racism and disproportionate police brutality against Black Americans. On both issues, he basically pivoted to defending police officers. Regarding his response to the pandemic, he denied downplaying the virus, as evidenced by his own words in the tapes provided by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward for his new Trump biography, “Rage.”

“I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action,” Trump said. “My action was very strong.”

The lies just keep coming. Watch them exit his mouth below:

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