Johnny Cash Photography

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash may have kicked off his career in country, but “The Man in Black” was just as well-versed in rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. He started his career recording for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records label in 1955, and by the late ’50s was widely considered one of the top artists in country music.

Cash blurred genre lines and chart placements throughout the ’60s and ’70s with classics like “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “Jackson,” and “A Boy Named Sue.” He was also known for his compassion and breaking down social barriers by performing concerts for prison inmates, resulting in the multi-platinum recordings At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin.

Even into the ’90s and ’00s, he continued to transcend boundaries, collaborating with the likes of the Highwaymen (alongside Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson) and U2, while covering alternative rock artists such as Nine Inch Nails for the American Recordings series. His death in 2003 prompted one of the most prominent posthumous career revivals of all time, bolstered by the blockbuster movie Walk the Line.

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