Reggae star Jimmy Cliff has been awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit, the Caribbean island nation's third highest honor, according to a list of national award winners published yesterday (Aug. 7).

Reggae star Jimmy Cliff has been awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit, the Caribbean island nation's third highest honor, according to a list of national award winners published yesterday (Aug. 7).

Cliff, whose real name is James Chambers, has released 30 albums in a career spanning 40 years and is eclipsed only by the late Bob Marley as a champion of reggae music.

Jamaica's Order of Merit ranks behind National Hero and the Order of the Nation, which is usually reserved for prime ministers and governors general. The honors are announced around Independence Day, Aug. 6, and are handed out at a ceremony on National Heroes Day, Oct. 20.

Cliff, 55, starred in the low-budget movie "The Harder They Come," released in the U.S. in the mid 1970s and co-starred with Robin Williams and Peter O'Toole in the movie "Club Paradise" and with Steven Seagal in "Marked for Death."


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