Johnny Nash, singer of ‘I Can See Clearly Now,’ dies at 80

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Johnny Nash, a singer-songwriter, actor and producer who rose from pop crooner to early reggae well-known person to the creator and performer of the million-selling anthem “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday, his son talked about.

Nash, who had been in declining health, died of pure causes at home in Houston, the metropolis of his birth, his son, Johnny Nash Jr., talked about. He used to be 80.

Nash used to be in his early 30s when “I Can See Clearly Now” topped the charts in 1972 and he had lived several show alternate lives. Within the mid-1950s, he used to be an adolescent covering “Darn That Dream” and one scheme of standards, his light tenor likened to the issue of Johnny Mathis. A decade later, he used to be co-running a file company, had change into a uncommon American-born singer of reggae and helped open the occupation of his buddy Bob Marley.

Nash praised “the vibes of this tiny island” when speaking of Jamaica, and he used to be amongst the predominant artists to carry reggae to U.S. audiences. He peaked commercially in the leisurely 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with “Preserve Me Tight,” “You Obtained Soul,” an early model of Marley’s “Trail It Up” and “I Can See Clearly Now,” aloof his signature tune.

Reportedly written by Nash whereas bettering from cataract surgical operation, “I Can See Clearly Now” used to be a fable of overcoming laborious cases that itself raised the spirits of endless listeners, with its swelling pop-reggae groove, promise of a “shiny, shiny sunshiny day” and Nash’s gospel-styled exclamation midway, “Look straight ahead, nothing nonetheless blue skies!”, a backing refrain lifting the words into the heavens.

The rock critic Robert Christgau would name the tune, which Nash additionally produced, “2 minutes and 48 seconds of undiluted inspiration.”

Though no longer well-known by Grammys judges, “I Can See Clearly Now” used to be covered by artists starting from Ray Charles and Donny Osmond to Soul Asylum and Jimmy Cliff, whose model used to be featured in the 1993 movie “Chilly Runnings.” It additionally grew to change into up in every single assign from “Thelma and Louise” to a Windex commercial, and in most modern years used to be on the total referred to on web sites about cataract procedures.

“I undoubtedly feel that tune is universal. Music is for the ears and no longer the age,” Nash advised Cameron Crowe, then writing for Zoo World Magazine, in 1973. “There are another folks who inform that they abominate tune. I’ve scurry into just a few, nonetheless I’m no longer obvious I think them.”

Singer Johnny Nash data in the studio in Unique York circa 1958.PoPsie Randolph / Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos file

The status of “I Can See Clearly Now” outlasted Nash’s win. He no longer most regularly made the charts in the years following, at the same time as he released such albums as “Tears On My Pillow” and “Celebrate Existence,” and by the 1990s had in fact left the alternate. His final album, “Right here All over again,” came out in 1986, even supposing in most modern years he used to be reportedly digitizing his old work, some of which used to be lost in a 2008 fireplace at In vogue Studios in Los Angeles.

Nash used to be married three cases, and had two young other folks. He had cherished riding horses since childhood and as an adult lived alongside with his family on a ranch in Houston, the assign for years he additionally managed rodeo shows on the Johnny Nash Indoor Arena.

To boot to his son, he is survived by daughter Monica and accomplice Carli Nash.

John Lester Nash Jr., whose father used to be a chauffeur, grew up singing in church and by age 13 had his win show on Houston television. Within just a few years, he had a nationwide following through his appearances on “The Arthur Godfrey Disclose,” his hit quilt of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love” and a collaboration with mates Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV on the wholesome “The Teen Commandments (of Love).” He additionally had roles in the flicks “Spend a Enormous Step,” whereby he starred as a excessive college student rebelling in opposition to how the Civil War is taught, and “Key Ogle,” a criminal offense drama starring Dennis Hopper and Jeffrey Hunter.

His occupation former all the scheme during the predominant half of of the 1960s, nonetheless he stumbled on a brand contemporary sound, and renewed success, in the mid-60s after having a rhythm and blues hit with “Let’s Transfer and Groove Together” and meeting Marley and fellow Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston all the scheme through a focus on over with to Jamaica. Over the following couple of years their careers would be closely aligned.

Nash convinced his supervisor and alternate accomplice Danny Sims, with whom he shaped JAD Facts, to signal in Marley and the Wailers, who recorded “Reggae On Broadway” and dozens of one scheme of songs for JAD. Nash introduced Marley to London in the early 1970s when Nash used to be the higher well-known person internationally and with Marley gave an impromptu dwell efficiency at a native boys college. Nash’s covers of “Trail It Up” and “Guava Jelly” helped show Marley’s writing to a general viewers. The 2 additionally collaborated on the ballad “You Poured Sugar On Me,” which seemed on the “I Can See Clearly Now” album.

After the 1980s, Nash grew to change into a thriller to fans and aged colleagues as he stopped recording and performing and no longer most regularly spoke to the clicking or anyone in the tune alternate. In 1973, he advised Crowe that he anticipated years of laborious work: “What I desire to manufacture is be a allotment of this alternate and to allege myself and salvage some form of acceptance by making other folks at ease.”

A quarter-century later, he defined to The Gleaner all the scheme through a focus on over with to Jamaica that it used to be “refined to manufacture predominant tune initiatives” with out touring and promoting and that he most well-most standard to be alongside with his family.

“I think I’ve finished gratification in phrases of the folk I’ve had the likelihood to meet. I by no scheme obtained the Grammy, nonetheless I don’t assign my faith in issues of that nature,” he added. “A lifetime body of labor I’m able to also be satisfied with is extra crucial to me. And the actual folksy mix to the tune I invent, that’s what it is all about.”

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