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Booking Jimmy Cliff - Reggae Music Artists - Roots Reggae, Reggae-Pop, Rocksteady, Contemporary Reggae - © Richard De La Font Agency, Inc. - For serious booking requests only, click here: For More Information
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 Bruce 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 different forms."
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 the Pioneers.
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 Come."
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 Ziggy Marley, Lauryn Hill, Sarah McLachlan and Queen Latifah.
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 --
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