May 27

Meet Rosanne Cash, Who Has Built a Successful Career Like Her Legendary Father

Rosanne Cash, daughter of the country singing legend Johnny Cash, has been successful in making a name for herself – and she’s even getting the recognition she deserves. In fact, she boasts fifteen nominations from the prestigious Grammy Awards, in which she won four of those – including Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

Well, that’s no longer a surprise as she’s been drawing influence from many kinds of music – creating her own with her remarkably unique voice and effortless natural ability. 

To celebrate such talent, we’ve gathered some of the things you might not know about Rosanne yet.

Rosanne Cash Grew Up in California

After dating for over three years – exchanging hundreds of love letters – Johnny Cash married his first wife, Vivian Liberto. The couple then became first-time parents when they welcomed Rosanne into the world on May 24, 1995 – at the time when Johnny was recording his first tracks at Sun Records.

Though she was born in Memphis, Tennessee, Rosanne grew up in California. Rosanne’s family first moved to Casitas Springs, California, in 1961. But after her parents’ divorce in 1966, Rosanne – including her three sisters Kathy, Cindy, and Tara – were raised by their mother in Ventura, California.

In 1968, Johnny married June Carter Cash – giving Rosanne a stepbrother, John Carter Cash, who is also a notable musician.

She Has A Mixed-Race Origin 

Rosanne Cash’s mother was reported to be of Sicilian heritage on her father’s side and German-Irish on her mother’s side. However, in one episode of the PBS show, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Rosanne was presented with her DNA results and family descent.

Gates informed Rosanne that the maternal great-great-grandmother of Vivian was an enslaved black woman named Sarah Shields. However, her father was white, and in 1848, he granted Sarah – along with his other children – their freedom. Sarah was then able to marry a white man, which led to their children and descendants being listed as white.

She Started As Her Father’s Wardrobe Assistant

After graduating from high school in 1973, Rosanne pursued a closer relationship with her father. She spent two and a half years on the road with her father’s team as a wardrobe assistant. Eventually, Rosanne was promoted as a backing vocalist in some of Johnny Cash’s songs and an infrequent soloist in his shows.

She Made Her Recording Debut On her Father’s Album

Rosanne made her studio recording debut on her father’s 1974 album – where she covered “Broken Freedom Song” by Kris Kristofferson.

She Had a List of 100 Songs To Learn

While most parents give their kids a list of chores to do, Johnny Cash handed Rosanne a list of songs to learn – a hundred to be exact!

Rosanne was only eighteen then when her father handed her that list and told her that those were the essential songs she needed to grow what she so far knew about country music. The list includes songs made famous by Hank Snow, Bob Dylan, Bobby Bare, Patsy Cline, among others.

In 2009, Rosanne shared part of that list – twelve songs to be exact – in her 12th studio album, The List. The album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Americana Album and took home the prestigious Album of the Year award during the Americana Music Honors & Awards.

She is Also An Author

Rosanne is also an author. She has published four books so far – including the best-selling memoir Composed, which the Chicago Tribune described as “one of the best accounts of an American life you’ll likely ever read.” 

Rosanne has also written essays for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Oxford-American, the Nation, and a lot more print and online publications.

She Has a Whopping Net Worth 

With songs drawing on many genres, Rosanne Cash has an estimated net worth of $10 million.

She Has Survived Brain Surgery

In 2007, Rosanne was diagnosed with a “rare but benign condition.” She had to go through brain surgery to fix what had been diagnosed as Stage 1 Chiari malformation – a structural defect in the cerebellum, which is the brain’s part that controls balance.

She’s Been Married Twice

In 1979, Rosanne Cash married country music singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell and had a profitable marriage musically – collaborating on a series of country hits during the 1980s. Crowell also produced several Rosanne Cash songs and albums. However, the two called it quits and divorced after thirteen years of being married. Most of those turbulent emotions can be heard in Rosanne’s album from that period. 

Rosanne married her second husband, producer-songwriter John Leventhal, in 1995. The singer has been including her beloved husband as special guests on most of her concerts throughout the country.

Rosanne Cash’s Children

Rosanne Cash has three daughters with Crowell: Caitlin Rivers Crowell (born in 1980), Chelsea Jane Crowell (born in 1982), and Carrie Kathleen Crowell (born in 1988). She also helped in raising Crowell’s daughter, Hannah Crowell, from his first marriage.

Rosanne also has a son with Leventhal: Jakob William Leventhal (born in 1999).

Caitlin Rivers Crowell

Despite being born to famous parents, Caitlin has kept her life private and stayed away from the spotlight.

Chelsea Jane Crowell

Chelsea, on the other hand, followed the musical footsteps of her talented parents. In 2009, Chelsea co-produced a self-titled CD – composed of twelve songs she wrote herself. She described the record as “a mixture of country, soul, folk, jazz, family, heartache and time travel — a cross-section of Americana.”

But her creativity goes beyond music; Chelsea has also studied photography at Memphis College of Art. 

Carrie Kathleen Crowell

Carrie is an interior designer and stylist by profession. She has married Daniel Knobler and is happily living a married life together with their child Willoughby. But, just like Caitlin, Carrie is also living a life away from the spotlight.

Jakob William Leventhal

It was no longer a surprise when Jakob Leventhal got interested in music at a young age. Though he hasn’t reached that far on a worldwide platform yet, he has regularly performed in many places with his band and has recorded some music albums that you will find on his music list. Clearly, his passion for music bears his family’s musical legacy. 

Currently, Rosanne Cash is living with her husband and son in Chelsea, Manhattan.


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