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We Remember: Singer Johnny Nash (‘I Can See Clearly Now’) Dead at 80 {VIDEO}

Johnny Nash (circa 1950-60s-Getty)Sadly, we must report that singer Johnny Nash, known for the 1972 mega-hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday. He was 80.

His son confirmed his death to CBS Los Angeles, noting he passed away at home in Houston. Nash died the same day as guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who had been battling cancer.

Born John Lester Nash, he sang at Houston area churches and made his professional debut in 1957 with “A Teenager Sings the Blues.” His debut on the charts came in 1958 with a cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love.”

Nash’s career began in the 1950s covering standards and by the mid-60s, he was co-running a record company.

He was among the first artists to bring Jamaican reggae to US audiences and he also helped launch the career of Bob Marley. In fact, according to Nash’s website, he was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.

Johnny Nash peaked commercially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with “Hold Me Tight,” “You Got Soul,” an early version of Marley’s “Stir It Up” and, of course, I Can See Clearly Now,” which will always be his signature song.

The upbeat track with its pop-reggae groove was reportedly written by Nash as he recovered from cataract surgery.

The song promised a “bright, bright sunshiny day” and had a gospel-style exclamation midway in “Look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies!”

Nash later went on to reach megastar status with the iconic song which has sold more than millions of copies since its 1972 release.

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Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on October 10, 2020 at 9:12am

I remember when Johnny Nash come on the Soul Train and sang some songs; the crowd went wild. Rest in Paradise Johnny boy.

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