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may be available for your next special event!
Jimmy Cliff... Reggae Ambassador the last
surviving icon of reggae music, has earned his Musical Innovator,
Singer/Songwriter, Actor titles over an illustrious career in the 20th
Century and into the 21st.
Born in St.
James, Jamaica, the young man who
wanted to simply express himself through music and acting has gone on
to influence an eclectic mix of artists from
Springsteen, Sting and
Paul Simon, to the Clash and Sublime.
As a rambunctious teenager in Kingston, Jamaica,
Cliff brazenly walked into the local ice cream parlor/record shop and
sang an a cappella tune he had written called "Dearest
Beverly." The aspiring record producer/owner of the shop, Leslie
Kong was immediately impressed. He paid for the 14 year old Cliff to
record it, along with his first hit, "Hurricane Hattie."
While at Federal Studios to record "Miss
Jamaica" (a song written to capitalize on the excitement
surrounding the newly-crowned beauty queen), Cliff met Robert Nesta
Marley, whom Cliff helped to record his first tune, "Judge Blot."
Over the course of the next few years these two current day icons
helped to create modern reggae music. "Today's reggae music has
gone through many formulations," Cliff muses. "Originally
known as Ska, it has evolved to 'rock steady' to modern reggae, in its
After conquering his Jamaican homeland, Jimmy
Cliff went on to conquer England, Africa, Europe and Brazil at the
invitation of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. That
collaboration brought us Cliff's hits "Wonderful World Beautiful
People," "Vietnam" and "Wild Wild World." He
also wrote and produced hits "You Can Get It If You Really
Want," for Desmond Dekker and "Let Your Yea Be Yea" for
Cliff's introduction to U.S. listeners came as a
result of his critically acclaimed role as a gun toting, drug-selling
"rude boy" in the 1970s cult classic, "The Harder They
His performance garnered him rave reviews and
forever established his place at the forefront of the reggae movement.
The film also introduced the world to the classic reggae anthems
"You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "Many Rivers to
Cross." Music would never be the same again. Jimmy Cliff
extended his acting career by co-starring with Robin Williams and Peter
O'Toole in "Club Paradise" and in "Marked For
Death" with Steven Segal.
Known for his easy, pop-friendly reggae style as
well as harder-edged tunes with social and political lyrics and
earnest voice, Jimmy Cliff has put his signature sound on some
familiar hits. Cliff's cover of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly
Now," which was featured in the movie "Cool Runnings,"
was a huge radio hit, and exposed him to a new and younger generation.
Other musical projects included "The Lion King," where Cliff
appeared alongside Elton John on the film's soundtrack.
His release, "Humanitarian," marked Cliff's
first new project in the U.S. in 5 years, and in 3 years in Europe and
South America. Leaning a little more toward pop without abandoning the
style he has made famous, this CD featured new versions of The
Beatles "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and
Carole King's "You've
Got A Friend."
From decade to decade and more than 20 albums later, Jimmy
Cliff is still drawing capacity crowds of all ages. In December,
1999 Cliff gave a heartfelt rendition of "No Woman No Cry"
with Erykah Badu at the Bob Marley All
Star Tribute. The tribute, which was telecast on the TNT Cable
Network, featured contemporary artists like
Sarah McLachlan and
The 21st Century will find Cliff once again
extensively touring the United States, South America, Puerto Rico,
Mexico, Africa and Tahiti. "I
want to stimulate and motivate people to appreciate life it's my
calling." Cliff reflects. "My way of serving is through
music, so that's what I have to do."
Serve on and you will be
served, Mr. Musical Innovator!
Hit songs include --
- Hakuna Matata
- I Can See Clearly Now
- Harder They Come
- Reggae Night
- Wonderful World, Wonderful People
- Come Into My Life
- The Bigger They Come The Harder They Fall
- We Are All One
- Many Rivers To Cross
- Wild World
Jimmy Cliff may be available for your next special event!
.Reggae-Pop. / ReggaePop
.Roots Reggae. / RootsReggae
.Rocksteady. / xRocksteady
.Contemporary Reggae. / ContemporaryReggae
x60s, x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s, x10s, x20s
Born: ..in Jamaica
Born: ..in St. James
Born: Apr 1, 1948
Based: ..in Jamaica