American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash, best known for the 1972 hit I Can See Clearly Now, has died at the aged of 80. Nash, who had been in declining health, died of natural causes at home in Houston, the city of his birth, according to his son.
Johnny Nash began his career as a pop singer in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, he and his friend, Danny Sims formed JAD Records. While living in Jamaica, the pair signed Bob Marley and other members of the group, The Wailers.
According to his website, Nash was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.
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. 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.
Among the early fans to pay tribute was actor John Cusack, who tweeted: “Thank you Mr Nash –for all the love in your music – and for letting us use your great song. RIP.” Fellow musician Rex Chapman added, “2020 is the worst… Rest, Sir.”
Nash is survived by his wife, Carli, his son, John and his daughter, Monica.