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Jimmy Cliff on Career 'Rebirth'...

NPR.com
Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jimmy Cliff On Career 'Rebirth' And The Nature Of Success
by NPR STAFF      Full article

Without a doubt, the two artists most responsible for bringing reggae to the world stage are Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. Cliff became one of Jamaica's first international superstars in the 1960s, scoring hits in the U.K. and Brazil. He's best known for the 1972 film The Harder They Come, both as its lead actor and for three now-legendary songs included on its soundtrack.

Jimmy Cliff: I'm at the point where I'm taking my career to the next level. It kind of started out when the new millennium began, and up to 2010 when I received the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — that was like a stepping stone up to the next ladder. I had started writing this album without knowing I was going to call it Rebirth, but I had quite a bit of the songs before. So, that's about the rebirth of Jimmy Cliff's career. The rebirth of the planet is also about the new time that we're coming into. We're coming into a new time when all the old laws and ways are breaking down.In time, the world would embrace Bob Marley as reggae's ambassador; Jimmy Cliff never tasted that level of success. But on his newest album, Cliff sounds as hungry and as vital as he ever did, like a man claiming what was rightfully his all along. In an interview with NPR's Guy Raz, Cliff says the record's title, Rebirth, refers both to his own career and to humanity at large.

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