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Johnny Nash, who sang 'I can see clearly now', dies at 80

[HOUSTON] Johnny Nash, a singer whose I can see clearly now  reached No 1 on the Billboard charts in 1972, helping to bring reggae music to a mainstream US audience and over the decades becoming an anthem of optimism and renewal, died Tuesday at his home in Houston. He was 80.

His son, Johnny Jr, confirmed the death to The Associated Press but did not specify a cause.

Nash was a singer, an actor, a record-label owner and an early booster of Bob Marley over a long and varied career that began in the late 1950s when, as a teenager, he appeared on Arthur Godfrey's CBS-TV variety show. He also sang on Godfrey's popular radio broadcasts.

With his clear, smooth, emotive voice, Nash was signed to ABC-Paramount and marketed as a crooner in the Johnny Mathis mold. He recorded several albums of lushly orchestrated standards, but they met with only modest success. He also tried his hand at acting, starring in the 1959 coming-of-age drama Take a Giant Step and appearing alongside Dennis Hopper in the 1960 neo-noir Key Witness. By 1965, Nash had formed his own record label, JoDa, in partnership with Danny Sims, his manager, and that year he scored a hit on the Billboard R&B chart with Let's Move and Groove (Together). It marked the beginning of a new and much more successful phase of his career.


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