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PREVIEW Toots and The Maytals, Cardiff University.

IN the world of music, legend is an oft bandied about but little deserving moniker attached to all and sundry who have barely left an imprint on the musical landscape.

However, when it comes to the man known as 'Toots' Hibbert, pictured right, frontman of reggae icons Toots and the Maytals, the title is more than deserving.

This year his celebrated outfit mark 50 years as one of the world's best loved ska and reggae groups with the biggest UK tour of their illustrious career.

Led by the charismatic frontman, The Maytals formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1961. They popularised the reggae sound with such classic hits such as Do The Reggay (widely acknowledged as the first song ever to feature the word 'reggae'), Pressure Drop, 54-46 (That's My Number), Sweet and Dandy, Monkey Man, Funky Kingston and Reggae Got Soul.

Alongside Bob Marley, Toots is recognised as the man who brought reggae to a wider, more mainstream audience in the 1970s, as part of Island Records' pioneering reggae roster.

Over the last five decades, Toots has influenced countless artists including The Specials, The Clash and the late Amy Winehouse - who was a big fan. Toots has toured with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and Los Lonely Boys.

More recently, Toots and The Maytals won a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Reggae Album with True Love. The album consisted of re-recorded versions of their classics alongside legendary musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

Anyone who saw Toots and The Maytals' memorable performance at last year's Glastonbury Festival, not to mention the BBC's documentary about the group, as part of their acclaimed Reggae Britannia season earlier this year will testify that these dates are a must-see opportunity to witness one of reggae music's true greats, live in action.

Announcing the tour Toots said from his home in Jamaica: "Everybody knows the UK is like a second home to me, so I'm looking forward to seeing all my old friends and making some new ones on this very special anniversary tour."

* Toots and the Maytals play Cardiff University on Wednesday, September 14. Tickets priced pounds 24 are available from the box office on 029 2023 0130 and via www.ticketlineuk.com
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 4, 2011
Words:381
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