Lenny Kravitz Drops New Song, ‘Johnny Cash’, Dedicated to the Man in Black
Pop star Lenny Kravitz has released a new song dedicated to the country icon who helped him through one of the darkest moments of his life. Kravitz penned "Johnny Cash" as a tribute to the Man in Black after he offered the rock star moral support when Kravtiz's mother passed away in 1995.
Kravtiz was staying in Los Angeles with Rick Rubin in order to be closer to his ailing mother, and simultaneously Cash and his wife June were working on his American Recordings II: Unchained album in the legendary producer's house. The rocker says he flew back to the U.S. to visit his mother in the hospital and after checking in on her, went to Rubin's house to clean up.
“I got off a plane from Tokyo and I went straight to the hospital," Kravitz tells the BBC. “My mother was alive, but she was slipping. I thought she maybe had another couple of days in her; I went home to take a shower and get some food. I was going to go back to the hospital but as I was going from the hospital to the house of Rick, my mother passed.”
As the news was delivered to Kravitz on the telephone, Johnny and June Carter Cash were coming down stairs in Rubin's house. " ... I'm standing there with the portable phone in my hand, just taking this in and Johnny and June are walking down the stairs," Kravtiz recounts of the moment. Cash asked the younger star how he was doing.
"And I said: 'My mom just died' ... I was a bit fazed and out of it. And the two of them just came up to me and surrounded me and held me. The two of them. We weren't lifelong friends. I didn't know them that long. We were flatmates. But they decided at that moment [to] treat me like they would treat someone in their family. It was a beautiful moment of humanity and love," he shares.
His new song "Johnny Cash" was never something he planned to write. "I heard the melody, I heard the music, but I did not understand why I was getting the words "Johnny Cash,"" Kravitz recalls. "It obviously is something that impacted me and has been sitting within my spirit."
"Johnny Cash" is available as of Friday (Sept. 7). To hear the full version, press play above.
Unforgettable Johnny Cash Moments