The singer died in his Houston home of natural causes on Tuesday morning (Oct. 6). He was 80 years old.
Nash started his music career back in the 1950s with covers of “Darn That Dream” and other standards. In 1965, he created the JAD label which later signed Bob Marley’s band The Wailers, but it wasn’t until 1972 that his career hit an all-time high.
That year, his single “I Can See Clearly Now” debuted and received critical acclaim as it offered hope and optimism following the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ensuing riots. It went on to sell over 1,000,000 copies and became the No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 where it remained in the top spot for four weeks.
The song has since been featured in television shows and films including “Thelma & Louise,” Crooklyn and “The Boondocks.” It has also been covered by the likes of Ray Charles, Donny Osmond and reggae star Jimmy Cliff.
Nash, who moved to Jamaica in the mid-1960s, enjoyed success with reggae music as well with songs like “Stir It Up” and “Hold Me Tight.” He was reportedly one of the first non-Jamaican artists to record reggae music in Kingston.
The crooner’s last album, Here Again, was released in 1986, but he was said to be digitalizing his old tapes in recent years.
The Texas native also dabbled in the acting world in his heyday. He appeared in the 1960 film Key Witness, the 1959 drama Take a Giant Step and even sang the opening theme song for the 1960s cartoon series “The Mighty Hercules.”
Nash is survived by his daughter Monica, son John and wife Carli Nash.