Jimmy Cliff OM is one of the most prominent Jamaican singer’s and actors of all time. He was born 1st April 1948 and received the Order of Merit from the government for his contribution to arts and science.
His most well-known hits "The Harder They Come," "Sitting in Limbo", "You Can Get It If You Really Want" are universally recognised as his best and most popular songs.
Jimmy Cliff was heavily influenced by his Jamaican roots, and began writing music at an early age and was quickly signed to Island Records, where he flew to the UK and his career flourished.
“Hard Road to Travel” (January 1968) "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" and "Vietnam" in 1970 started him on a long road to one of the most successful multi-talented musicians and actors ever.
In 1972 Jimmy Cliff featured in the reggae film the Harder They Come and then returned to music. It was in the ‘80s that he began to make his mark on the world when Bruce Springsteen used one of his songs “Trapped” on the album, and their next album was nominated for ‘Best Reggae Album’. During the ‘90s Jimmy Cliff travelled to the Rock in Rio Festival where he was highly successful over there as well.
He reached #1 in France and gained international success by this time. He did a cover version of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" and worked on the song "Hakuna Matata" (1995 #26) in Disney’s The Lion King.
The new millennium saw Jimmy Cliff release the album Fantastic Plastic People and featured high-profile collaborations with Joe Strummer, Annie Lennox and Sting. He performed as part of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, escalating his fame to a new level as well as continuing with producing music for movie soundtracks.
Jimmy Cliff performed "Many Rivers to Cross" at the opening ceremony for the Cricket World Cup and carried on touring relentlessly.
In 2012 Jimmy Cliff released Rebirth which reached #83 on the UK Album Chart – his first studio album for seven years. Aptly named, the album reflected Jimmy Cliff’s ever changing work, producing music with everyone from The Rolling Stones and having numerous songs covered by the likes of Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Cher, New Order and Fiona Apple. The album was produced by punk icon Tim Armstrong, of Rancid and Operation Ivy fame.