American singer and songwriter Johnny Nash has died of natural causes at the age of 80.
The Houston musician appeared on stage in the 50s. The first hit was the 1957 song A Teenager Sings The Blues. He was the author of the compositions You Got Soul, Rock Me Baby, Doris Days’ recording A Very Special Love, and Sam Cook’s Wonderful World covers. In 1968 he traveled to Jamaica, where he became the first American reggae artist. Befriended and collaborated with Bob Marley. He has released 17 albums during his career.
Nash’s main hit was the 1972 song I Can See Clearly Now, the song became the soundtrack to a number of films, and was recorded by many artists over the years.
In an interview with Zoo World magazine in 1973, Nash told reporter Cameron Crowe he hoped his music had wide appeal. “I feel that music is universal. Music is for the ears and not the age. Everybody likes music… from eight to 80.
“There are some people who say that they hate music,” he added. “I’ve run into a few, but I’m not sure I believe them. Maybe they have never been without music. Know what I mean?”
Reacting to the report of his death, singer Boy George credited Nash, with his “voice like silk”, as one of the artists who “made me fall in love” with reggae.