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In the ’70s cult classic The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff starred as a struggling artist trying to break into the music business. Tricked out in fancy bell-bottomed outfits and radiating rude-boy style, he had no intention of waiting until he died to get his piece of the pie in the sky. In real life, at least, Cliff has succeeded. Thirty years and 22 albums since his brazen spirit first took him to Leslie Kong’s ice cream parlor and recording studio with a guitar under his arm, the reggae ambassador has appeared in several films, undertaken controversial tours of South Africa and Cuba, and recorded with the world’s most popular artists. He was even invited to participate in Brazil’s Earth Summit as a “spiritual adviser.” His latest album, Humanitarian, boasts chanted messages of love and plenty of riveting rhythms. Cliff performs with Jah Works at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. $24. (703) 237-0300. (Ayesha Morris)