It's been nearly 11 years since the death of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, but the indelible footprint he left on the music industry is most certainly enduring. Johnny Cash created a legacy during the time he was alive and even after his death. Johnny Cash graced the earth with his presence and his music from 1932 to 2003. He lived a long life of 71 years. During this time, he would lead a life of a tortured artist of country music, just trying to exorcise his inner demons. Yet he endured, and fans found his grit endearing. Since his passing, several tributes have been made in his honor, spilling out his music and influence to the masses.
One such memorial put Johnny's face on the front of a stamp, for example. His stamp was picked for the final 20 commemorative stamps out of 40,000 designs. The first date of release for this commemorative stamp was June 5, 2013. The Johnny Cash commemorative stamp will also be issued through USPS this year in a new stamp series, Music Icons, which has featured other industry notables Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles.
Johnny Cash has also had a new museum dedicated in his honor. Nashville is the designated setting for new museum, which is a labor of love between the Cash family and a private collector. The private collector, Bill Miller, has become a close personal friend of the Cash family. Roseanne Cash, Johnny's daughter, offered the following statement about Miller's involvement:
"He's been an incredible supporter of my dad and one of the largest collectors of memorabilia. If anybody has the whole structure to put up a museum, he does. So I have a lot of trust in him and I think it's great at this point. I think he'll do something with dignity and class that's historically important, not some kitschy thing. I'm very interested in seeing what he does."
The main legacy that Johnny Cash has left behind is his lost album, Out Among the Stars, a collection of previously unreleased material. This album was released March 25, 2014. Cash's lost album debuted in the #3 spot on the Billboard Top 200 charts and would soon storm straight to #1 on the Country Albums Chart, just like a steam locomotive. The album is a definitive time capsule for any die hard Cash fan.
Johnny Cash created music that was as much an extension of his personality as it was art. Over the span of his career, he created a legacy through a life lived on the edge, almost precariously passionate. Johnny Cash endures today as the grand-daddy of rebel country music, but to most of his fans, he will always simply be The Man in Black.