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Johnny Nash passed away aged 80

music news 08/10/2020

American reggae and pop singer-songwriter, Johnny Nash has died aged 80.

Confirmed by his family, Nash has passed away at his home of natural causes on Tuesday.

The musician was well known for his 1972 hit song, 'I Can See Clearly Now' when he was in his early 30s. He kicked started his career in the mid-50s when he was just a teenager, making a string of albums for ABC-Paramount featuring dreamy pop ballads, including his very first charting song, a Doris Day cover of 'A Very Special Love' in 1958. He also started his acting career in the 1959 film, Take a Giant Step.

By 1965, Nash and his manager, Danny Sims, formed their own record label, first called JoDa and later renamed as JAD (which includes a third partner, Arthur Jenkins). Two years later, Nash and Sims relocated to Jamaica and helped launched the career of the young singer named Bob Marley. JAD promptly signed Marley to a publishing deal with the Wailers, as recording artists.

Unfortunately, JAD were unable to break reggae in the US and the label sold Marley's contract to Chris Blackwell and Island Records. Four Marley-written tracks appear on the Nash's album I Can See Clearly Now, including 'Guava Jelly, 'Comma Comma', 'You Poured Sugar on Me' and the opening track, 'Stir It Up'.