J.R. “Johnny” Cash was born on 28 February 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas USA, and was a legendary musician and singer, writer and also an actor, acclaimed by many experts as one of the most influential singers of the second half of the 20th century He is particularly known for such songs as ‘Ring of Fire’, ‘Man in Black’, ‘I Walk The Line’ and ‘Folsom Prison Blues, among many others. He passed away in 2003.
You might wonder – ‘how rich was Johnny Cash?’ Well Cash’s net worth is estimated by authoritative sources to be over $120 million, earned during his varied career in the entertainment industry spanning nearly six decades.
Johnny Cash Net Worth $120 Million
His life as a kid was not very easy; his family’s economic conditions were not good, so Cash had to work hard in the cotton fields during the depression, still being very young. This experience later inspired many of his songs, and maybe that is partly why he became so famous, as many people were able to relate to Cash’s songs. When Johnny was 12 years old he started to show more interest in music, especially gospel and other genre he heard on the radio; he was bought a guitar, was tutored by his mother, and soon started to write songs too. Later he even released an album entitled ‘My Mother’s Hymn Book’.
Johnny joined the US Air Force in 1950, and served in Germany as a radio operator – apparently the first to pick-up the news that Stalin had died – where he formed his first band too. He was discharged in 1954 as a Staff Sergeant.
In 1955 Johnny moved to Memphis, working selling musical instruments, but playing with ‘The Tennessee Two’ – Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant – and they were soon signed by Sun Records and released ‘Cry! Cry! Cry!’ and ‘Hey Porter’. These two songs, followed by what became his signature tune -“Folsom Prison Blues” – soon became big hits, and added considerably to Cash’s net worth.
Johnny subsequently toured extensively, as did many popular artists of the period, before TV became widely available and videos were non-existent. He invariably began his performances with ‘Hello – I’m Johnny Cash’ followed by Folsom Prison Blues. His health certainly suffered from the workload that this lifestyle generated.
Johnny released many more successful songs and albums, and step by step became famous around the world, especially as he was able to appeal to several music genres without apparent effort. He is credited with more than 50 studio albums – ‘The Fabulous Johnny Cash’, ‘All Aboard the Blue Train’, ‘I Walk the Line’ perhaps being the most famous – 10 live and 10 gospel albums, to say nothing of many collaborative albums, including four with The Highwaymen – himself, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson – many of which rose high in various charts around the world.
Johnny was also popular because of his support for human rights – especially for Native Americans – which were often the subject of his songs. His ‘man in black’ persona was supposed to reflect his concern for the poverty stricken and down-trodden, but actually began because the clothes didn’t show sign of wear during heavy concert schedules, although his later song “I’m the Man in Black’ was certainly heartfelt and very popular.
In 1969 Johnny started to host ‘The Johnny Cash Show’ on the ABC network, which featured numerous guest stars including Kenny Rogers, Neil Young, Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbison, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles and many others, and had a significant impact on Johnny’s net worth during the three years it was aired.
In addition to this, Johnny appeared in other television shows and movies. Some of them include ‘Shotgun Slade’, ‘A Gunfight’, ‘Little House on the Prairie’, plus several “Johnny Cash Specials”, and which also contributed to Cash’s net worth.
There is no surprise that Johnny Cash was rewarded with many honors during his career, including Grammy Awards, and Country Music Association Awards. What is more Cash was uniquely inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll, Gospel, Country Music and Nashville Songwriters Halls of Fame. He was rewarded with Kennedy Center Honors in 1996, and with the National Medal of Arts in 2001.
Johnny Cash also found the time to write – he released “Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words”(1975), “Man in White”, a fiction about apostle Paul(1986), and “Cash: The Autobiography”(1997), with Patrick Carr, all of which contributed to his net worth too.
In his personal life, Johnny was married to Vivian Liberto (1954-68) with whom he had four daughters, but his frequent absences on tour eventually saw them separate, perhaps hastened by his meeting June Carter, a fellow performer, who he married in 1968 and remained with until her death following complications from heart surgery in 2003. They had a son together, John Carter Cash also a musician. Johnny died just four months after June, officially from complications with diabetes from which he had suffered for several years, .
Despite rumours and his affinity with prisoners – including performing in jails in the US and Sweden, with the live albums proving extremely popular – Cash never spent more than one night in jail, for minor misdemeanours or misunderstandings. However, at various times he was addicted to prescription drugs, initially amphetamines helping him stay awake during the aforementioned heavy concert tours, then as painkillers. These certainly caused some difficulties, and periods of rehabilitation, but seldom effected his performances.
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