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 He was a little dark, right from the beginning ...



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 The man in black has some advice for today's rappers ...



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 "I was on amphetamines really, really bad ..."



Artists On Cash


  Bono, Tom Morello, Kid Rock, And More On Johnny Cash...



Cash On 'Hurt'


  Johnny Cash Says Unlike Most Videos, 'Hurt' Wasn't Too Painful ...





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Perhaps you're a huge Johnny Cash fan. But if you're not, or just don't really get why so many people love him and his music so much, some of your favorite artists are here to explain. Here's what Audioslave, Snoop, the Neptunes, Metallica and others have to say about the man in black ...



Audioslave's Chris Cornell
Cornell: The highlight, I feel, of my musical career, above and beyond anything else — and I've had a lot of great moments — was when Johnny Cash did a version of one of my songs that was on a record that, I believe, he won a Grammy for.

No one ever told me anything about the lyrics of that song. After Johnny did it, I got people calling me up and telling me, "I heard the Johnny Cash version of [Soundgarden's] 'Rusty Cage.' You write great lyrics!" At the time I thought, 'Why didn't you say that five years ago?' And I realized that when he sings a song you listen to what he has to say. And he draws from his own experience to make that song believable and get people to understand it.

Johnny Cash is what a country like this needs, which is a soul. He is someone that is the soul of America and in this day and age we really need more people like him, though I don't think there's ever gonna be anybody like him.

Audioslave's Tom Morello
Morello: I was never a fan of country and western music and then in like, 1994, Rage Against the Machine were playing some European festivals and I noticed that on one of the side stages, Johnny Cash was playing. So I thought I had a little bit of time to kill so I'd go and check it out. I had heard that name from my youth, though I had never been a fan. I walked into this tent and it was filled with thousands of people and he was wearing a black suit and it was absolutely one of the most mesmerizing hours of music I had ever seen in my entire life. The songs had such depth and gravity and power. He was such a charismatic person as well as a performer that I stood there hypnotized by this man and his music. Even though the genre of music was something that I could've cared less about, it was him as a performer that was totally compelling and I became a fan and went out and got a lot of Johnny Cash records after that.

There is something in the soul of the music of Johnny Cash that has something very much in common with Bob Marley and Joe Strummer. Though they are artists from different continents and completely different genres of music, there's an honesty and an integrity to the music that they make. I think that if Johnny Cash had been born in Jamaica, he could have been Bob Marley.



U2's Bono
Nothing is as macho as Johnny Cash's voice.

A real threat you will not find in a 22-year-old. You just won't. You can dress him up in leather pants, you can have him throw his TV out the hotel window. He can roar in front of all manner of white noise, but there's no real threat when you're a teenager, when you're in your 20s or when you're [in your] 30s. The real sh--, or what they say in New Orleans, the other kind of sh--, comes from the perspective of being in the trenches and having been around a while. All the blues guys had it. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King. Johnny Cash has that and the voice of authority for me.



Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett
Hammett: He was one of the originals. He was one of the first guys to embody that "Don't mess with me" image.

With Johnny Cash, what you saw is what you got. And then you got a heavy dose of reality with it.

Hetfield: He's speaking for the broken people — people who can't speak up or no one wants to hear.

And when you hear, "Hi, I'm Johnny Cash," that's all you need. It's him and his guitar speaking from the heart, in black, not flashy, not anything. He's just there putting his heart out through his music.



Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis
Johnny Cash is an icon and a legend and just a bold reality. And he comes from a million years ago and he'll live on for a million more years. He makes music that comes from an incredibly deep and powerful place.



The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo
Hugo: He was a rebel, too. He used to flip the camera people off.

Williams: I don't think there's a rap artist that has more songs about killing somebody than Johnny Cash does.



Snoop Dogg
There's certain qualities about Johnny Cash that gangsta rappers like to take and put within themselves, because there's always a good quality about somebody special in the game that you can take something from. Johnny Cash is one of those individuals.



The White Stripes' Jack White
He's such a man to look up to, just for a male to look up to a man, you know, you can't think of anyone more inspiring than that.

People should get down on their knees in front of him for what he's done and the songs he's written.



Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor
Any exposure to this video or any of Johnny's music may help some people realize the possibilities of music, and [it] reminds you that it doesn't have to all be what it has turned into for the most part.





Sheryl Crow
In a lot of ways, he kind of defined what rock and roll was. You know, we know that picture of him flipping off the camera and he was kind of the radical outlaw, but he was also writing these songs that were just gut-wrenching.

He's always been who he is, there's never been any question, he's never changed who he was for any kind of popularity. He's always been the Man in Black.



Kid Rock
Johnny Cash's influence on me has been tremendous. It started out when I was a kid with my father's record collection and hearing it around the house with a lot of the other Sun records and whatnot. And then, when I became an age to come full circle from that to hip-hop back to my musical roots, which I was introduced to when I was young, everything that he ever made — [from] his gospel stuff to his outlaw music to anything he ever did ... To me, when I see Johnny Cash, I see red, white and black.




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