Hospitalized Cash to Miss VMAs

Man in Black up for five video awards

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Though an early buzz suggested that Johnny Cash would attend the MTV Music Video Awards tonight, the legendary Man in Black will not be able to make the event, after he was hospitalized Tuesday for an undisclosed stomach ailment.

The seventy-one-year-old Cash is listed in stable condition in a Nashville hospital. He has been hospitalized several times over the past few years; he suffers from autonomic neuropathy, which makes him susceptible to pneumonia, though his manager, Lou Robin, said that the latest illness is unrelated to that condition.

According to Robin, Cash will likely be discharged over the weekend or early next week. He has plans to travel to Los Angeles next week to work with producer Rick Rubin on his fifth American Recordings album. Cash has recorded more than forty cuts for possible inclusion on the album, and he and Rubin plan to whittle the list down to fifteen or so. The record will likely follow an American Recordings box set due later this year, which featured unreleased material recorded for the five previous albums Cash has recorded with Rubin since 1994.

The most recent of those albums, American Recordings IV: When the Man Comes Around was released earlier this year and has enjoyed bigger sales due to the success of the video for Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." The clip is up for five Video Music Awards tonight, including video of the year. "Hurt" and American IV have also earned Cash three nominations for the 2003 Country Music Association Awards, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year. The CMAs are set for November 5th in Nashville.