Reggae icon, Jimmy Cliff is now the recipient of an Official Passport by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).
Official passports are given to government officials who represent Jamaica’s interests overseas.
The reggae icon, who hails from the parish of St James was presented with his official Jamaican passport by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange at her Ministry’s New Kingston head office on Wednesday (January 20).
Cliff, whose real name is James Chambers is noted for his pioneering work in popularizing reggae music and the local film industry with his local hit movie, The Harder They Come directed by the late Perry Henzell.
Cliff has won many music awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 and is best known for songs such as Wonderful World, Beautiful People; Many Rivers to Cross; You Can Get It If You Really Want; The Harder They Come; and Reggae Night. He has also had smash hits with Hakuna Matata from the film, the Lion King and his covers of Cat Stevens’s Wild World and Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now from the film, Cool Runnings.
His appeared in the movie, The Harder They Come, which is credited with helping to popularise reggae across the world. He also appeared in the 1985 comedy, Club Paradise, which starred Robin Williams.
The Grammy award winning Cliff, who turns 72, sees his role as shepherding reggae music to the world, pointing out that when record producers wanted to bring reggae to America, they would send for Jimmy Cliff. The same he said is done when they wanted to bring reggae to England, they would send for Jimmy Cliff. Even in Africa, the reggae legend declared that they would send for Jimmy Cliff.
He is the only living musician to receive Jamaica’s Order of Merit, the country’s highest honor outside of national hero. He received the OM for achievement in the Arts & Sciences. In 2007, Cliff was honored with a doctorate from The University of the West Indies.
In 2019, the Culture and Entertainment Ministry honoured Cliff by renaming Gloucester Avenue (also known as the “hip strip”) in Montego Bay to Jimmy Cliff Boulevard.