The award-winning and globally acclaimed British reggae band Steel Pulse has now been added to the lineup of the Groovin’ In The Park concert taking place on Sunday, June 30 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York City.
Steel Pulse, a Grammy award recipient for Best Reggae Album replaces the iconic Toots Hibbert who, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the lineup due to continuing medical issues resulting from being hit in the head with a vodka bottle at a concert in Richmond, Virginia on May 19.
“This unavoidable decision was made by Toots’ medical team as it has been determined that any performances at this time could seriously compromise his health and well-being,” a statement from Toots Hibbert’s management team said.
“Toots has also canceled a planned six-week European tour from July to August”, the statement continued. Chris Roberts, CEO of Groovin Inc. said he was deeply disturbed to learn of the bottle throwing incident in Virginia.
“I have the highest regard for Toots Hibbert as an artist. All of New York City joins me in my condemnation of this incident and in the disappointment of not having Toots on Groovin’ as was planned. We wish for him a speedy recovery and we certainly look forward to having him on the event as soon as he is able to perform again,” Roberts said.
Steel Pulse comes to this sizzling one- day reggae and R & B festival with superb credentials. The group has had an impressive catalogue of smash hits spanning some four decades, going back to the mid-seventies when this iconic roots and culture band was first formed in Handsworth near Birmingham in England.
They were the first non-Jamaican group to win a reggae Grammy in 1986 for their seminal album “Babylon the Bandit” and they were also the first reggae band ever to make an appearance on the Tonight television show.
Among the string of hit records produced by the politically charged Steel Pulse are “Rally Round,” “Save Black Music,” “Taxi Driver,” “Not King James Version,” “Roller Skates,” and the timeless immortal classic, “Bodyguard.”
Steel Pulse will join a world-class lineup of hit machines including Patti LaBelle, Tank, Ginuwine, Tyrese, Sanchez, Barrington Levy and Queen Ifrica on Groovin In The Park. This summer event is more than a concert and has become a synergistic celebration of Caribbean and African American cultures in New York City.