Nash -- who is best known for his massive 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now" -- was born in August 1940 in Houston, Texas, and began singing as a child at the Progressive New Hope Baptist Church.
Nash released his first studio album, A Teenager Sings the Blues, the age of 16 in 1957, and saw early chart success the following year with his cover of Doris Day's "A Very Special Love."
The height of his career came with the release of "I Can See Clearly Now," which sold over 1 million copies, and reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, where is stayed at the No. 1 spot for a month.
Nash's music career began to slow in the mid 1970s, and he largely stepped out of the spotlight until the release of his 1986 album Here Again.
"He was a wonderful father and family man. He loved people and the world," his son, John Nash III, told TMZ, who were the first to report the news. "He will be missed within his community. Family was his everything."
Nash is survived by his son, his daughter Monica, and his third wife, Carli.