Singer Johnny Nash dies at 80

Johnny Nash

Johnny Nash, whose song “I Can See Clearly Now”   topped the charts in  1972, died at his home in Houston, Texas on  Tuesday.He was 80.

Nash, who had been in declining health, died of natural causes.

He  began singing as a child in church in Houston where he was born. As a teenager, he participated in a local variety show where he sang R&B covers, and in his late teens, he made his major label debut with 1957’s “A Teenager Sings the Blues.” The following year, his cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love” marked his first charting single. Nash continued to release singles on a variety of labels and scored another chart hit with 1965’s “Let’s Move and Groove Together.”

But it was his move to Jamaica in the sixties and his enduring reggae-tinged hit in 1972’s “I Can See Clearly Now” that propelled him to fame. The song sold more than one  million copies and sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks. He also released the rocksteady-influenced “Hold Me Tight” in 1968, which charted.

He continued to release music into the seventies, including a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” and “Let’s Go Dancing” as well as act in film and television, including a part in the 1971 Swedish film, Vill sá gärna tro, before stepping out of the spotlight. In 1986 he released the album, Here Again.