Johnny Nash, the smooth-voiced singer best known for his 1972 smash hit single ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ has died aged 80.
According to a statement given to TMZ by his son, John Nash III, Nash was at home in Houston when he died of natural causes.
The Associated Press (via Billboard) reports that Nash had been in declining health for some time.
“He was a wonderful father and family man. He loved people and the world. He will be missed within his community. Family was his everything,” said Nash III in his statement.
Nash started his recording career in the 1950s where he achieved some popularity in Texas with a performance on the show Matinee and singing on Arthur Godfrey’s radio show.
After scoring a number of minor hits, such as a cover of Doris Day’s ‘A Very Special Love’, 1968’s ‘Hold Me Tight’, and a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Stir It Up’, Nash scored his first and only number one hit with ‘I Can See Clearly Now’.
Released in 1972, ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks before returning to the charts in 1993 after Jimmy Cliff recorded a version of it for the film Cool Runnings.
It was reported that ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was written by Nash while recovering from cataract surgery and has become something of an anthem about overcoming hardship.
While it is unfortunate that Nash never won the major accolades he deserved, he was nonetheless happy with his accomplishments, explaining to The Gleaner (via Billboard): “I think I’ve achieved gratification in terms of the people I’ve had the chance to meet. I never won the Grammy, but I don’t put my faith in things of that nature.”
“A lifetime body of work I can be proud of is more important to me. And the special folksy blend to the music I make, that’s what it is all about.”
Nash is survived by his son, his daughter Monica, and his wife Carli Nash.