Whether it’s the soul-tinged Many Rivers to Cross to the punchy Wonderful World, Beautiful People, Jimmy Cliff’s songs have permeated people’s lives for decades.
And since he was a small child singing in his local church, Cliff has worked as one of reggae’s most prolific but also musically varied artists.
And now, at the age of 65, the artist is embarking on a full UK tour in support of his latest album, Rebirth.
The album takes the listener on a compressed tour of Jamaica’s musical legacy, taking in ska, rocksteady, roots reggae and even a cover of The Clash’s Guns of Brixton.
The title, Rebirth nods to Cliff’s emergence from a 10-year hiatus and his reincarnation as a songwriter.
But the 10-year wait was worth it.
So far, Rebirth has been endowed with serious critical acclaim. It’s been hailed as the one of the top 50 albums of 2012 by Rolling Stone magazine and has cemented Cliff’s reputation as a seriously able songwriter.
Cliff is also the only living musician to have been awarded the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences.
In between accolades and musical rebirth, however, Cliff will be performing at the Leadmill on Monday, June 24.
His show will be packed with tracks from Rebirth as well as other Cliff classics, which over the years have included Wonderful World, Beautiful People, The Harder They Come and You Can Get It If You Really Want.