Sixteen years after her father, Johnny Cash, received the inaugural “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award, Rosanne Cash will proudly accept the same award on September 12 at the 17th Americana Honors & Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
The “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award is given by the Americana Music Association in collaboration with the First Amendment Center.
Cash has long been outspoken in support of musicians’ rights and against gun violence.
Cash serves on the board of the Content Creators Coalition. In 2014, she spoke in front of Congress for the Americana Music Association concerning digital music licensing and intellectual property rights. When it comes to gun violence, Cash has promoted gun safety for nearly 20 years. After the Las Vegas mass shooting, she wrote an editorial piece for the New York Times on gun control.
“We are truly humbled to present this award to Rosanne Cash during this year’s program,” Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, said in a statement. “She has been — and continues to be — a crusader for not only artists in our community but for all artists and those whose rights may have been compromised, and we want to rightfully honor that fighting spirit.”
Ken Paulson, President of the First Amendment Center, added, “It’s fitting that Rosanne Cash’s first studio recording was her rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Broken Freedom Song’ in 1974. That foreshadowed an extraordinary musical career distinguished by its honesty, integrity and compassion.”
Rosanne Cash found her first big hit in 1981’s “Seven Year Ache.” Since then, she’s released a series of successful records and written short stories and essays. In 2014, she was awarded the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award, and a year later, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Also in 2015, she won three Grammys, adding to her previously won Grammy award in 1985.