Jimmy Cliff has continued to carry the musical torch for his country, as he spreads the message of love and harmony through his music to people all around the globe. Cliff who was recently inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is no stranger to the world stage as he has contributed to the popularity of this “drum and base” rhythm called reggae music.
Jimmy Cliff born James Chambers in St. James parish of Jamaica started his career as early as 1962. He said that he adopted the stage name “Cliff” to acknowledge the heights he intended to climb in his musical career.
His first recordings date back to 1962, and two of his songs (“Ska All Over the World,” “Trust No Man”) were included on a 1964 anthology, The Real Jamaican Ska, released in the U.S. on Epic Records. Hooking up with legendary Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, Cliff unleashed a string of hit singles in his homeland throughout the Sixties, including “Hurricane Hattie,” “Miss Jamaica” and “King of Kings.” He was among those chosen to represent Jamaica at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In 1969he had his first international chart stopper entitled "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" which rose to the number 6 spot on the British charts and number 25 in the US.
Jamaican superstar reggae ambassador Cliff biggest break came in the seventies, when he wrote the album, which became the sound track to the critically acclaimed movie called the Harder They Come. Other songs from that album included "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and the mega hit "Many Rivers To Cross," which enjoyed success both in the U.S. and internationally. The Harder They Come was released in 1973 on the Mango Label, a subsidiary of the Chris Blackwell owned Island Records. Blackwell mentored Cliff from the business standpoint and fostered a great relationship with the young reggae star.
In addition to writing and singing on The Harder They Come album, Cliff also showcased his acting skills, as he starred in the movie of the same name. The Harder They Come story line focused on Cliff, a young singer growing up Jamaica who got caught up in the rouge life of drug and crimes. The movie won rave reviews from audience all around the global and a play of the same name is now playing and currently on tour in London.