by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – 2022 is a monumental year for Jimmy Cliff. It’s been 50 years since the release of The Harder They Come, the classic movie in which he starred; he also signed an agreement with talent agency ICM Partners to produce a documentary on his life.
On August 6, when Jamaica celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, he will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the country’s Consul General to Miami. This takes place at Marriott Fort Lauderdale Coral Springs Hotel and Convention Center.
The event, dubbed ‘Jamaica Diamond Independence Jubilee Gala’, is a joint presentation with Jamaica United Relief Association Inc.
According to Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, the 78 year-old Cliff’s work transcends music.
“Dr. Cliff is one of the greatest reggae artists of all time. He has been a great ambassador for Jamaica and reggae music. Celebrating 60 years of Independence is a very special time of reflection, introspection and celebration. It’s a time to give thanks to God for His many blessings to us. One gift is Dr. Jimmy Cliff whose inspiring lyrics have helped to not only entertain but encourage us as a people,” he said.
From rural St. James parish in Jamaica, Cliff was born James Chambers. He had hit songs like Hurricane Hatty and Miss Jamaica in 1962, the year the country gained independence from Britain. His golden run continued throughout the 1960s with songs like Wonderful World, Beautiful People and You Can Get it if You Really Want.
Cliff became a mega star following the release of The Harder They Come in 1972. He starred in the Perry Henzell-directed film as Ivan. Ivan was a country boy who travels to the capital Kingston hoping to make it as a singer.
The film’s soundtrack included Wonderful World, Beautiful People, and You Can Get it if You Really Want, the title song. In addition, Sitting in Limbo which enhanced Cliff’s reputation as a pop star.
Since then, he has earned numerous accolades including two Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album, received the Order of Merit, Jamaica’s fourth-highest honor in 2003 and induction in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.