Johnny Nash, the popular singer, songwriter, actor, and producer died October 6, at his home in Houston, Texas. He was 80 years old and performer of the million-selling anthem “I Can See Clearly Now.”
Nash had been in declining health and died of natural causes. He died in Houston. Houston was also the city of his birth on August 19, 1940, according to his son, Johnny Nash Jr.
Nash often praised “the vibes of this little island” when speaking of Jamaica, and he was among the first artists to bring reggae to U.S. audiences. He was a rare American-born singer of reggae and launch the career of his friend Bob Marley.
Nash peaked commercially in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. 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.
His signature song was reportedly written by Nash while recovering from surgery. It was a story of overcoming hard times that itself raised the spirits of countless listeners, with its swelling pop-reggae groove, promise of a “bright, bright sunshiny day” and Nash’s gospel-styled exclamation midway, “Look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies,” a backing chorus lifting the words into heavens.
Johnny Nash is survived by his wife Carli and son Johnny, Jr. and daughter Monica. He will be missed by all that he touched over the years. RIP