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'I Can See Clearly Now' Singer Johnny Nash Dead At 80

Johnny Nash
Source: Flickr Commons

Oct. 7 2020, Updated 12:42 p.m. ET

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Best known for his hit song "I Can See Clearly Now," reggae and pop singer-songwriter Johnny Nash has died at 80 years old.

Nash passed away on Tuesday, October 6, of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas.

Nash started his pop music career in the 1950s. He released his first studio album titled A Teenager Sings the Blues at the age of 16 in 1957 and launched JAD label in New York in 1965. His chart-topping hit, "I Can See Clearly Now," debuted in 1972.

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Nash's label also became home to Bob Marley's band The Wailers. According to his website, Nash was also "one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica."

The singer-songwriter also enjoyed much success in the reggae genre with songs such as "Hold Me Tight" and "Stir It Up."

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His song "I Can See Clearly Now" received a lot of critical acclaims but was never nominated for a Grammy. However, the tune was covered by other acclaimed artists such as Ray Charles, Donny Osmond and others.

"What I want to do is be a part of this business and to express myself and get some kind of acceptance by making people happy," he told Cameron Crowe in 1973, who was then writing for Zoo World Magazine.

Nash married three times and had two kids. He was known for his love of riding horses and lived with his family on a ranch in Houston. He also managed rodeo shows at his Johnny Nash Indoor Arena.

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Nash became quite a mystery in the 1980s as he stopped recording and performing and rarely spoke to anyone in the music industry. Nash had explained to The Gleaner during a Jamaica trip that it was "difficult to develop major music projects" without touring and promoting, but he preferred to spend time with his family.

"He was a wonderful father and family man. He loved people and the world," his son, John Nash III, told TMZ. "He will be missed within his community. Family was his everything."

Nash is survived by his wife, Carli Nash, and two children, Johnny Nash Jr. and daughter Monica.

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