Artists, Industry React To Cash's Death

As the news spread of Johnny Cash's death today (Sept. 12) at age 71, fellow artists and members of the music industry expressed deep sadness.

As the news spread of Johnny Cash's death today (Sept. 12) at age 71, fellow artists and members of the music industry expressed deep sadness.

"I have lost one of my best friends," says Marty Stuart, Cash's former son-in-law and one of his frequent musical collaborators. "It leaves a dark void in my life that is blacker than any coat he ever wore. He is irreplaceable. Even in death I have no doubt that Johnny Cash will continue to live on as an inspiration to musicians and songwriters and all of America."

"It's a sad day in country music today," the Dixie Chicks say in a statement. "Johnny Cash's voice was arguably one of the most recognizable and influential in country music. It's devastating to lose two great country artists in the same year. Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash were truly a dynamic force in shaping the music industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family."

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my children's grandfather and my very dear friend," Rodney Crowell, ex-husband of Cash's daughter Rosanne, says. "I loved big John with all my heart. The citizens of the world have lost one of their most enduring guiding lights. As a musical hero to millions, a trailblazing artist, humanitarian, spiritual leader, social commentator and most importantly, patriarch to one of the most varied and colorful extended families imaginable, Johnny Cash will, like Will Rogers, stand forever as a symbol of intelligence, creativity, compassion and common sense. I'm thinking Mt. Rushmore."

"Bigger then any musical genre was Johnny Cash," Tim McGraw says. "He was an American music icon that set the standard for how to make music on your own terms. We will miss him." His wife, country star Faith Hill, adds, "Johnny Cash broke all the rules and transcended musical barriers. His attitude, his style and his music made him a true original. Who else could knock on the doors of the pearly gates wearing black?"

"Johnny Cash had such a tremendous impact and influence on so many of us," says Travis Tritt. "I don't know of any other artist who had such a wide appeal across every music genre."

"There will only ever be one Man In Black," Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery says. "I hate to see our outlaw heroes leave because they have influenced country music so much. I don't know that anyone can stand on the mountain like they have."

"Unique and one of a kind," is how the Derailers' Tony Villaneuva describes Cash. "He was a great American, and his music was the spirit of America -- all that is good about this great country. No matter what situation we find ourselves in playing music, we can never go wrong playing a Johnny Cash song. We're going to miss him."

In tandem with American Recordings, Lost Highway Records released "American IV: The Man Comes Around," Cash's latest studio album. "Johnny Cash was one of the most amazing people to grace the Earth," label president Luke Lewis says. "His talents as a songwriter and an artist speak for themselves."

"Johnny Cash was an international ambassador for country music and a musical trailblazer throughout his life, possessing one of the most recognizable names, faces and voices the world has ever known," Country Music Association executive director Ed Benson says. "It is incomprehensible to imagine what country music would have been like without Johnny Cash and his music."

Even President George W. Bush has chimed in with his tribute: "Johnny Cash was a music legend and American icon whose career spanned decades and genres. His resonant voice and human compassion reached the hearts and souls of generations, and he will be missed."

Satellite radio provider Sirius is airing a one-hour tribute to Cash several times today on its "The Roadhouse" channel. Remaining broadcast times are 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.

On Monday (Sept. 15), cable network Trio will rebroadcast "Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to Johnny Cash." The live performance special features Rosanne Cash, Keb' Mo', Travis Tritt, Stuart and others performing Cash songs, as well as interviews with Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle and Hank Williams Jr.