Cash Wins Big at CMAs - Rolling Stone
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Cash Wins Big at CMAs

Late legend takes home Album of the Year

More than thirty years had passed since Johnny Cash last received a
Country Music Association Award. But the Man in Black, who died in
September, received three honors last night in Nashville, tying
Alan Jackson for the most awards.

Cash’s American IV: The Man Comes Around won Album of
the Year (the first time he’d received the award since 1968, And
his poignant single and video for “Hurt” won Single of the Year and
Video of the Year.

“My father’s work came to completion at the end of his life, not
at the end of this record,” said Cash’s son John Carter Cash, who
accepted his father’s awards. “I’ve never seen a man more dedicated
and stronger than that man. My father’s memory will live on in my
heart, and I know in all of your hearts.”

Cash was also honored at the show’s conclusion when his
Highwaymen pals Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson led a musical
tribute, performing two of his classic hits, “Folsom Prison Blues”
and “I Walk the Line.” Travis Tritt and Sheryl Crow offered their
rendition of “Jackson,” and Hank Williams Jr. sang “Ring of Fire.”
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was joined by the evening’s other
performers for a final farewell on the Carter Family classic “Will
the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Cash’s three wins brings his CMA total to nine, though they were
the first since he won five in 1969. Alan Jackson, who took
Entertainer of the Year honors, brought his lifetime total to a
dozen. Between their six wins, there weren’t a lot of other awards
left, and despite pre-CMA hoopla about the Dixie Chicks (who
received two nominations) and Toby Keith (seven), both went home
empty-handed.

Lest Cash’s wins seem like a windfall from his passing, the
nominations were announced before his death on September 12th. And
the music legend could yet add to his CMA tally. During Cash’s
decade-long collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, he recorded
dozens of songs that weren’t included on his four American
records. A five-CD box set of material from those sessions will be
released as Unearthed on November 25th; one disc, My
Mother’s Hymn Book
is a previously unreleased gospel album.
And Cash and Rubin recorded more than fifty songs for a fifth
American record.

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