Late singer Johnny Nash used ranch for community outreach

HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston singer and songwriter Johnny Nash has died at the age of 80.

The reggae and pop singer had been in declining health, his son, John Nash, III told ABC13.

Nash is best known for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now." The record sold more than a million copies and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of that year.

"It's timeless. It's absolutely timeless. You can take it, you can flip it and you can apply it to so many different situations and it's still a factor," Nash said.

The singer was born in Houston and grew up in the historic Third Ward neighborhood. He was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica and was an early promoter of Bob Marley.

Nash, who kept a low public profile, left music to start a family and to run a ranch.

He bought 25 acres in Houston's South Park neighborhood and built an indoor arena where, for a decade, he and his wife hosted rodeos and used livestock to do community outreach.

"He wanted to make being in the country, raised around livestock and cattle, cool here in the city and have it accessible to everyone at any time," his son said.

He never forgot where he came from. He bought the house in the Third Ward where he grew up as well as others on the block. Nash said his father saw his music career as the opportunity to live the life he wanted.

"I think being able to have a career, then being able to dedicate his time to his family. I think that meant everything. That was the world."

Besides his son, Nash leaves behind his wife, Carlie Nash, and a daughter, Monica Dixon.

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