Johnny Nash

August 19, 1940 - October 6, 2020

Johnny Nash Artistfacts

  • Born in Houston, Texas, he started his career as a pop singer in the late '50s with his first charting hit, "A Very Special Love."
  • He formed JAD Records with his manager Danny Sims in 1965 and signed acts like The Cowsills, a group of brothers from Rhode Island who scored their first hit with "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" (after moving on to MGM).
  • Nash found his groove in Jamaica and recorded his biggest hits "I Can See Clearly Now" and "Stir It Up" with the reggae influence he picked up from local musicians like Bob Marley. Nash signed Marley and his group, The Wailers, but Marley would have his first taste of success outside of Jamaica when Nash included a cover of Marley's "Stir It Up" on his own 1972 album I Can See Clearly Now.
  • Nash was also an actor who found acclaim with his starring role in the 1959 drama Take A Giant Step, in which he played a black teenager struggling against prejudice in a predominately white town.
  • "There are three artists who've really influenced me in my singing career," Nash told Melody Maker in 1969. "They are the late Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Harry Belafonte. They all have something I wish I had."
  • A horseman who owned a ranch in Texas, the reggae star ran the Johnny Nash Indoor Arena in Houston to host rodeo shows between 1993 and 2002.
  • Johnny Nash died at his Houston home of natural causes aged 80, after a period of failing health.

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