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Country singer Johnny Cash dies at 71

Last updated on: September 12, 2003 17:22 IST

Country music legend Johnny Cash died in Nashville, Tenn on Friday. He was 71.

Cash's manager, Lou Robin, in a statement released by the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, said: "Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure."

A towering figure in American music spanning country, rock and folk, Cash was known as The Man in Black.

"I hope that friends and fans of Johnny will pray for the Cash family to find comfort during this very difficult time," Robin said.

Cash missed the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City recently, where his video Hurt was up for six awards. The video won for best cinematography.

He recorded more than 1,500 songs and was the youngest person chosen for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cash won 11 Grammies, including the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2002 shared Grammy for Best Country Album.
He had two singles on the country charts for 38 consecutive years, including 25 hits between 1958 and 1960.

He posted over 130 hits on the Billboard Country singles chart.

His daughters Rosanne, Tara, Cindy and Kathy and son John Carter performed with him at one time or another.

Rosanne is a country music singer-songwriter.

Cash was honored with a Kennedy Center Award in December 1996.

According to, he began his career as an outlaw to the Nashville establishment and came to define country music over the last 40 years.

At first, his unique mix of hillbilly music with gospel and blues made him a perfect fit at Sam Phillips' Sun Records, where he recorded such classics as Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk The Line.

The Web site said that from there, Johnny signed with Columbia Records and embarked on one of the most remarkable musical careers of the twentieth century. Transforming into The Man In Black, Johnny spent more than 30 years reinventing and contradicting himself -- breaking all rules of traditional country music to emerge as the ultimate mythic hero and archetype of the genre.

No other artist touched the world of music quite like Johnny Cash, the Web site said.


A Correspondent