Johnny Nash, best known for his 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday morning, his son John Nash has announced. He was 80 years old.
The American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter passed away from natural causes at his home in Houston, his son said.
Johnny Nash began his career as a pop singer in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, he and Danny Sims formed JAD Records, and while living in Jamaica, the pair signed Bob Marley and other members of the group, The Wailers
“Johnny Nash, a singer-songwriter, actor and producer who rose from pop crooner to early reggae star to the creator and performer of the million-selling anthem “I Can See Clearly Now,”
He peaked commercially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with “Hold Me Tight,” “You Got Soul,” an early version of Marley’s “Stir It Up” and “I Can See Clearly Now,” still his signature song.”
“Johnny loved reggae,” Sims told the Houston Chronicle in 2012. “And he loved Bob and the guys. He taught Bob how to sing on the mic, and they taught Johnny how to play the reggae rhythm.”
The reggae-influenced “I Can See Clearly Now” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, and stayed in the top spot for four weeks, according to Billboard.
The song returned to the Billboard charts when it was recorded by Jamaican reggae star Jimmy Cliff for the 1993 “Cool Runnings” movie soundtrack. Cliff’s version made it to No. 11 on the Billboard charts.
Nash also sang the opening theme song for cartoon series “The Mighty Hercules,” which aired in the 1960’s.
According to his website, Nash was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.
Rest in Power, kind sir… Legacies & Legends Live Forever.
Aug. 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020