Singer/Songwriter Johnny Nash of “I Can See Clearly Now” Dies at Age 80 in Houston

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I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash (Sony Music Entertainment).

Johnny Nash, a singer-songwriter, actor and producer famous for the 1972 hit song “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday, his son Johnny Nash Jr. said. He was 80.

Nash died of natural causes at home in Houston, where he was born on October 19, 1940. The son of Eliza (Armstrong) and John Lester Nash sang in the choir at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in South Central Houston as a child.

Nash rose from pop crooner to early reggae star to the creator and performer of the million-selling anthem.

Nash was in his early 30s when “I Can See Clearly Now” — the single from the album of the same name — was released in 1972 and achieved success in the United States and the United Kingdom. “I Can See Clearly Now” reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box charts. Cashbox was a music industry trade magazine, originally published weekly from July 1942 to November 1996.

After the song’s release on June 23, 1972, “I Can See Clearly Now” advanced slowly for a month, then shot from No. 20 to No. 5 to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 4, 1972, remaining on top of the Billboard Hot 100 four weeks. “I Can See Clearly Now” was also positioned atop the adult contemporary chart for the same four weeks.

Nash helped launch the career of his friend Bob Marley, and sang an early version of Marley’s “Stir It Up” before his success with “I Can See Clearly Now.”

In addition to his son Johnny Nash, Jr., he is survived by daughter Monica and wife Carli Nash.



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