Jimmy Cliff

We open on the Somerton District of St. James, Jamaica. With only one midwife tending to the entire village, a mother gives birth to a child, wraps him in a sheet, and takes him to shelter at a neighbor’s home as the hurricane blows her house away. However, everybody agrees, “There’s something special about this boy.”
He becomes famous by the age of 14 for a hit coincidentally entitled “Hurricane Hattie.” He goes on to popularize reggae music everywhere.

Nowadays, his impact remains inescapable, with immortal anthems like “I Can See Clearly Now,” “Wonderful World, Beautiful People,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “The Harder They Come,” and many more. In addition to receiving his country’s highest honor “The Order of Merit,” he holds the distinction of being one of two Jamaican Rock and Roll Hall of Fame® Inductees—in good company with Bob Marley. Everyone from the Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello to Annie Lennox and Paul Simon has sought him out for collaborations, while Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Cher, New Order, and Fiona Apple have recorded notable covers.

2012 marked another watershed moment for Cliff with the album Rebirth, produced by Rancid and Operation Ivy punk stalwart Tim Armstrong. The record earned the GRAMMY® Award for “Best Reggae Album” and graced Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Albums of 2012” as he delivered show-stopping performances at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and beyond. The momentum didn’t relent as he embarked on his next creative chapter the long-awaited sequel to The Harder They Come, Many Rivers To Cross, and two 2018 EPs—Free For All and Love For All—co-produced by Linkey Marsden. Teaming with Ghana-born and London-based co-producer Kwame Yeboah [Stevie Wonder] for the EPs, Cliff revisits, recharges, and revitalizes reggae in its purest form.

In the end, Cliff’s magic only continues to blossom with each year. “I still haven’t written my best song,” he leaves off. “I’m pursuing that all the time. If my music can uplift someone to make them want to live a better life and not give up, that is a big success for me.”