Jimmy Cliff is reggae royalty, and he just turned 72 years old today (April 1). The singer and multi-instrumentalist gained a huge following after his appearance in the classic 1972 film, The Harder They Come, which starred Cliff and chronicled the Jamaican music industry. Cliff’s soulful, socially-conscious reggae has been enjoyed for decades, and his best-known songs include the film’s title track, plus “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want.” Another famous tune came via his cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” which he recorded for the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.
To celebrate Cliff’s birthday, we’re sharing his triumphant performance at Woodstock ‘94, which took place in Saugerties, New York in August of that year. “What we need is a wonderful world with beautiful people,” Cliff proclaimed gleefully before sliding into the song you’d probably expect: “Wonderful World, Beautiful People.” His band literally hopped around on stage in unison with big smiles on their faces, and it’s a joy to watch. Other highlights include his warm cover of “I Can See Clearly Now,” which had just been released a year before.
Watch Jimmy Cliff perform in 1994 via the Paste vault below.