Johnny Nash, the legendary musician, best known for his 1972 hit single I Can See Clearly Now, had been in declining health for some time and died of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.
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His son Johnny Nash Jr confirmed the devastating news. Tributes poured in for Nash on social media with actor John Cusack tweeting: ‘Thank you Mr Nash – for all the love in your music – and for letting us use your great song.’
Nash began his music career in the 1950s and was co-running a record label the following decade. The pop and reggae singer is widely credited with being one of the first people to introduce his friend and late reggae icon Bob Marley to American audiences.
So, in the early 70s, Nash saw his major breakout with I Can See Clearly Now, which is one of the most recognisable songs in recent history.
However, the uplifting track has been covered by a range of musicians over the years. Including Ray Charles, Donny Osmond and Jimmy Cliff, whose version featured in the 1993 comedy Cool Runnings. It also made an appearance in Thelma and Louise.
Johnny Nash, Achievements
The track reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent four weeks there. It peaked at number five in the UK, where he later topped the charts with Tears On My Pillow.
In a piece for Zoo World magazine in 1973. Nash also, opened up about his success and 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.’
Musing over his career in 1998, Nash told Jamaica’s The Gleaner. ‘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, who had been married three times, is survived by son Johnny Nash Jr, daughter Monica and wife Carli Nash.