- NAME: Johnny Cash
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: February 26, 1932
- DEATH DATE: September 12, 2003
- Did You Know?: Johnny Cash stated that he never performed without wearing black, as he thought wearing black brought him good luck because he wore a black T-shirt and jeans to his first gig ever.
- Did You Know?: While in the Air Force, Johnny Cash learned to translate Russian morse code.
- Did You Know?: Johnny Cash bought Johnny Carson's house in Encino after Carson moved to New York and began hosting The Tonight Show.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Kingsland, Arkansas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Nashville, Tennessee
- Full Name: John R. Cash
- AKA: Johnny Cash
- Nickname: "The Man in Black"
Best Known For
Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, was a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose music innovatively mixed country, rock, blues and gospel influences.
Johnny Cash - Hurt (3:32)
Watch a short video about Johnny Cash and find out the highlights and low lights of the career of this rock, gospel and country legend.
As Johnny Cash entered the final days of his life, he covered "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, and it became one of his most successful and heartbreaking recordings of all time.
After years of presenting himself as the Patriot, Rick Rubin returned Johnny Cash to his darker side in order to expose him to new audiences.
Johnny Cash wrote one of his most well-known songs, "The Man in Black" to explain just why he always dresses in black.
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Then in May 2003, June Carter died. Cash, though, continued to work. With Rubin at his side, the singer sat down to record what would be known as American V: A Hundred Highways. Just week before his death on September 12, 2003, from complications associated with diabetes, Cash wrapped up his final track. "Once June passed, he had the will to live long enough to record, but that was pretty much all," Rubin recalled around the album's release on July 4, 2004. "A day after June passed, he said,
'I need to have something to do every day. Otherwise, there's no reason for me to be here.'"
Starkly arranged and sometimes mournful, the songs highlighted Cash's older and rougher sounding voice, which resonated with a raw honesty. Cash earned a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video for God's Gonna Cut You Down. He was also posthumously honored at the CMA annual awards in late 2003, winning best album for American IV, best single, and best video.
Not surprisingly, Cash's life and music continues to resonate. In 2005, the story of his love affair with June Cash was made into a feature film, Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. In 2006, a two-CD collection of unearthed songs from an obscure recording session Cash did in 1973 was released. And the following year the community of Starkville, Mississippi, paid honor to the performer and his arrest there in 1965 for picking flowers with the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival. Cash was also issued an official pardon.
"I think he'll be remembered for the way he grew as a person and an artist," wrote Kris Kristofferson in 2004, upon Cash's selection by Rolling Stone magazine as the 31st greatest artist of all time. "He went from being this guy who was as wild as Hank Williams to being almost as respected as one of the fathers of our country. He was friends with presidents and with Billy Graham. You felt like he should've had his face on Mount Rushmore."
In December 2013, it was revealed that a new album from Cash had been found. The album, Out Among the Stars, was discovered by John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash's son. Billy Sherrill produced the album, which was recorded in 1981 and 1984 and was never released by Columbia Records, Cash's label at the time. The album was stored by Johnny Cash and his wife June Cash. The album received a release date of March 24, 2014.
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When it comes to singing about struggle and emotion, there are few genres that match the intensity of country music. Country music was born from musicians that were brave enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves from happiness to heartache. Because of country icons like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Jimmie Rodgers, this southern, soulful genre has grown to become loved by many. Browse through the legends that established country music as the popular genre that it is today.
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