- 07 Oct 20
He is survived by his son, Johnny Nash Jr., daughter, Monica, and wife, Carli Nash.
Famed reggae singer Johnny Nash, who wrote positive anthem 'I Can See Clearly Now', has died. He was 80 years of age, and died of natural causes in his hometown of Houston, Texas, according to his son, Johnny Nash Jr. He had been in declining health for some time prior to his death.
Born John Lester Nash Jnr, he grew up singing in church. By age 13, Nash had a show on Houston television and within a few years, he had a national following as a pop artist, with his hit cover of Doris Day's 'A Very Special Love'.
Nash was in his early 30s in the 1970s, when 'I Can See Clearly Now' topped the charts. He also co-ran a record company, and helped launch Bob Marley's career.
In the 1960s, Nash formed JAD Records, and convinced his business partner/manager Danny Sims to sign Marley and the Wailers. The band recorded 'Reggae On Broadway' among several other songs for the record company. Nash brought Marley to London in the early 1970s.
Earlier on in life, he had roles in the films Take a Giant Step, and Key Witness, a crime drama starring Dennis Hopper and Jeffrey Hunter.
Nash’s covers of 'Stir It Up' and 'Guava Jelly' helped expose Marley’s writing to a wider international audience. The two also collaborated on a ballad, 'You Poured Sugar On Me', which appeared on the I Can See Clearly Now album.
In a 1973 interview with Cameron Crowe for Zoo World Magazine, Nash said: “I feel that music is universal. Music is for the ears and not the age. There are some people who say that they hate music. I’ve run into a few, but I’m not sure I believe them.”