Reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff has been issued an Official Passport by the Government of Jamaica.
The “Harder They Come” star was presented with the passport by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange at her Ministry’s offices in New Kingston on Wednesday.
These types of passports are typically given to government officials who represent Jamaica’s interests overseas.
The 72-year-old singer has expressed his gratitude for the gesture, comparing his body of work to that of a shepherd.
“My role has always been as the shepherd of reggae music. When they wanted to bring reggae to America, they sent Jimmy Cliff. When they wanted to bring reggae to England, they sent Jimmy Cliff. When they wanted to bring reggae to Africa, they sent Jimmy Cliff.”
The Grammy-winning artist is one of the biggest stars from Jamaica, with an illustrious career spanning over 5 decades. He remains the only living musician to receive Jamaica’s Order of Merit, the island’s highest honor for achievement in the Arts & Sciences.
Some of Cliff’s biggest tracks include; Many Rivers to Cross, You Can Get It If You Really Want, The Harder They Come.
In 2019, the Jamaican government also honored Cliff by renaming Gloucester Avenue (also known as the “hip strip”) in Montego Bay to Jimmy Cliff Boulevard.