He was an unheralded pioneer who bridged the musical sounds of pop and R&B with reggae, and in the process created musical gold, including the classic “I Can See Clearly Now.” Music fans and industry peers say goodbye to singer/songwriter Johnny Nash. He was 80 years old. Born John Lester Nash in Houston, TX, Nash began singing on local television by his mid teens. he signed with ABC Records at age 17 and scored his first national hit with “A Very Special Love.” He continued to record with moderate success for another decade, never quite reaching the level of notoriety that his talent deserved. A move to Jamaica in the mid-60s changed Nash’s outlook and the breadth of his musical interest. After meeting reggae legend Bob Marley, he became enmeshed in the local music scene, expanding his musical horizons to incorporate the sounds of his new home. With a refreshing new sound, Nash began scoring pop hits that bore a reggae feel. The single “Hold Me Tight” hit the top 10 and became the theme song for the Score hair care commercials. In 1972 Nash released what became his signature song “I Can See Clearly Now.” The song reached #1 in several countries. Nash also became active as a producer, working with Bob Marley and fellow reggae legend Peter Tosh. Nash’s career slowed down by the end of the 70s and he released one final album in 1986. Sadly, much of his master recordings were destroyed in the Universal Records fire in 2008 and may be lost forever. Johnny Nash’s name may not mean much to younger music fans, his role in bringing reggae sounds to popular music should not be understated, and his talent as a singer and songwriter was top tier. May he rest in peace.