Rosanne Cash

New York, New York, New York, United States

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Related Projects

Rosanne Cash

Current Location:: New York, New York, New York, United States
Birthplace: Memphis, , Tennessee
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Cash
Wife of Private
Ex-wife of Private
Mother of Private; Private User; Private and Private
Sister of Private; Private; Private and Private
Half sister of John Carter Cash

Occupation: singer-songwriter, author
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all 17

Immediate Family

    • Private
    • Private
    • Private User
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • father
    • mother
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private
    • Private

About Rosanne Cash


Rosanne Cash (born May 24, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter and author. She is the eldest daughter of country musician Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, Johnny Cash's first wife.[1] Although she is often classified as a country artist, her music draws on many genres, including folk, pop, rock, blues, and most notably Americana. In the 1980s, she had a string of genre-crossing singles that entered both the country and pop charts, the most commercially successful being her 1981 breakthrough hit "Seven Year Ache", which topped the U.S. country singles chart and reached the Top 30 on the U.S. pop chart.

In 1990, Cash released Interiors, a spare, introspective album which signaled a break from her pop country past.[2] The following year she ended her marriage and moved from Nashville to New York City where she continues to write, record, and perform, having since released six albums, written three books, and edited a collection of short stories. Her fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Oxford American, New York Magazine, and other periodicals and collections.

Cash won a Grammy Award in 1985 for "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me" and has received 12 other Grammy nominations.[3] She has had 11 No. 1 country hit singles, 21 Top 40 country singles, and two gold records. Cash was the 2014 recipient of Smithsonian magazine's American Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts category. On February 8, 2015, Cash won three Grammy awards for Best Americana Album for The River & the Thread, Best American Roots Song with John Leventhal and Best American Roots Performance for A Feather's Not A Bird.[4] Cash was honored further in October that year, when she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.[5]

Early life

Cash was born in 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Vivian and Johnny Cash, when Johnny was recording his first tracks at Sun Records.[6][7] Cash's mother was Vivian Cash (née Liberto) half Irish and German and half Sicilian who’s grandparents were from Cefalù, Palermo, Sicily.[8] [8] Genealogists from the show Finding Your Roots discovered that one of Rosanne’s maternal great-great-great-grandmothers, Sarah A. Shields, was a mixed-race woman born into slavery, who was freed along with her eight siblings by their white father.[9]

The family moved to California in 1958, first to Los Angeles, then Ventura, where Cash and her sisters were raised by their mother. (Vivian and Johnny separated in the early 1960s[10] and divorced in 1966.) After graduating from St. Bonaventure High School,[11] she joined her father's road show for two and a half years, first as a wardrobe assistant,[12] then as a background vocalist and occasional soloist.[13] She made her studio recording debut on Johnny Cash's 1974 album The Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me, singing lead vocal on a version of Kris Kristofferson's "Broken Freedom Song".

In 1976, Johnny Cash recorded the Rosanne Cash composition "Love Has Lost Again"[14] on his album One Piece At A Time. Though she did not appear on this track, it was Rosanne Cash's first professionally recorded work as a composer. That same year, she briefly worked for CBS Records in London before returning to Nashville to study English and drama at Vanderbilt University.[6] She then relocated to Los Angeles to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Hollywood.[15] She recorded a demo in January 1978 with Emmylou Harris' songwriter/sideman Rodney Crowell, which led to a full album with German label Ariola Records.[15]

Personal life

Cash has three younger sisters: Kathy, Cindy, and Tara.[6] Her parents divorced in 1966; her father married June Carter in 1968. Cash's stepsisters are country singers Carlene Carter (from June’s marriage to singer Carl Smith) and the late Rosie Nix Adams, also known as Rosie Carter (from June’s marriage to Edwin “Rip” Nix). Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash, is Rosanne's half-brother. Cash's stepmother and father died in 2003, and her mother in 2005.

Cash married country music singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell in 1979. They have three daughters: Caitlin, Chelsea, and Carrie. Cash also raised Crowell's daughter, Hannah, from a previous marriage. Cash and Crowell divorced in 1992. She married her second husband, John Leventhal, in 1995, and they have one son, Jakob. Cash lives with her husband and son in Chelsea, Manhattan.[58]


On November 27, 2007, Cash was admitted to New York's Presbyterian Hospital for brain surgery. In a press statement, she announced that she suffered from Chiari malformation type I and expected to "make a full recovery".[59] The surgery was successful,[37] though recovery was slow, and in March 2008 she was forced to cancel her spring tour dates for further recuperation. She wrote about the experience in her The New York Times article "Well, Actually, It Is Brain Surgery".[60] She resumed writing, recording and performing in late summer of 2008.

Other projects

Cash supports several charitable organizations. She is a longtime board member of The Center To Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV), formally known as PAX,[61] an organization dedicating to preventing gun violence among children. She was honored by PAX at their fifth annual benefit gala in 2005.[62]

Cash is a frequent guest teacher at the English and Songwriting programs of various colleges and universities including LeMoyne,[63] Fairleigh-Dickinson[64] and NYU.[65]

Cash has been associated with Children, Incorporated for more than 25 years and has sponsored many children through the organization, which works to support and educate needy children and young adults worldwide.[66]

Cash was elected to the Century Association in 2009[67]

She also works with Arkansas State University on the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home project, which has restored her father's childhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.[68] The Cash family has supported the restoration by raising money through annual music festivals. Rosanne hosted the first and second annual Johnny Cash Music Festivals in 2011 and 2012.[69] She resumed rotating host duties with her half-brother John Carter when the festival resumed at Dyess in 2017.

In 2014 Cash contributed essays to the Oxford-American[70] and the book of collected essays edited by Sari Botton Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers On Their Unshakable Love For New York.[71] She was also featured in Gael Towey's Portraits in Creativity as a featured artist for her Profile Series.[citation needed]

Cash is a dedicated supporter of artists' rights in the digital age and sits on the board of the Content Creators Coalition. On June 25, 2014, Cash testified before The House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee on intellectual property rights and Internet music licensing.[72]

In 2018, Cash was a recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music.

view all

Rosanne Cash's Timeline

May 24, 1955
Memphis, , Tennessee