Johnny Nash, an American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter, best known in the US for the 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday at his home, his son confirmed to CBS Los Angeles. He was 80.
Born in Houston, Nash started singing as a child at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church. He made his major label debut in 1957 with the single “A Teenager Sings the Blues.”
His first chart hit was a cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love,” in early 1958, but his claim to fame was the 1972 reggae-influenced single “I Can See Clearly Now.” The single sold over one million copies, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Nov. 4, 1972 and remained atop the chart for four weeks.
After covering Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” in 1976 and “Let’s Go Dancing” in 1979, Nash took a step back from the spotlight before releasing the 1986 album “Here Again.”
In May 2006, Nash was reportedly singing at SugarHill Recording Studios and Tierra Studios in Houston and was working to transfer analog tapes of his songs from the 1970s and 1980s to digital formats.