World Music
3:33 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

April Feature: Jimmy Cliff

Credit Philippe Jimenez / Wikimedia Commons

Throughout April, Global Village features music from one of reggae's most popular artists, Jimmy Cliff, in celebration of his 65th birthday.

Cliff was born on April 1,1948 in St. James Jamaica. After moving to Kingston, he met Leslie Kong, convinced him to start a record label, and at the age of 14, had his first hit. His next move was to England and Island Records, where he began releasing albums starting in the late '60s.Then came his big breakthrough in 1972 with a role in the classic film, The Harder They Come, and its successful companion soundtrack. He continued to record steadily through the '80s and with some regularity in the '90s, but the start of the new century saw a decline in his recorded ventures. Then in 2012, Cliff made a powerful comeback with his first studio album in seven years, the aptly titled Rebirth, which took home a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

Unlike other reggae artists, Cliff is not a Rastafarian and his music has regularly incorporated African, rock and pop influences. And though Bob Marley has to some degree overshadowed his career, he remains one of the most significant, best known and most successful artists from Jamaica. Cliff has appeared on stages and at festivals around the world, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received one of Jamaica's highest honors, the Order of Merit.

Throughout April, Global Village features music from throughout Cliff's career - from early recordings to his latest, Grammy-winning album.

Jimmy Cliff from "The Harder They Come" --

A live version of "World Upside Down" from Rebirth --

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