Women in Music 2016

Johnny Cash's Addiction Issues Explored in Exclusive 'American Rebel' Preview: Watch

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images
Johnny Cash on February 18, 1970.

The documentary debuts Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.

Marty Stuart -- a onetime band member (and former son-in-law) of Johnny Cash -- once penned a song for the Man in Black titled "Dark Bird." Truer words were never written. Cash, who died 12 years ago this Saturday, was one of the darkest and most honest artist country music has ever seen.

Cash spoke of his faith as well as his demons with equal passion and truth. And at the end of his life, when most artists would be a little hesitant to show weakness or the effects of age, Cash seemed to thrive in spite of his vulnerability -- turning in perhaps the most poignant work of his career with a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," which won the CMA single of the year trophy just a few weeks after his death.

Kid Rock to Host CMT's Weeklong Johnny Cash Tribute

On Saturday night, CMT will debut Johnny Cash: American Rebel at 9 p.m. ET, a retrospective that celebrates the life and artistry of Dyess, Ark., most famous native. The special includes thoughts from the legend's children Rosanne Cash and John Carter Cash, as well as Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.

Billboard brings you this exclusive clip from the special, which details Cash's battle with his addictions in the 1960s.