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Johnny Cash Birthday: Happy 81st To The Man In Black

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Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash! Today would have been the icon's 81st birthday.

Commonly referred to as the Man in Black, legendary crooner Johnny Cash is best known for his hit singles "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line." His tumultuous life offstage was punctuated by heavy drinking and ongoing drug use, which culminated in an attempted suicide in 1968. He and singer June Carter, whom he'd known for years as a performer, married shortly thereafter. Although his drug use reportedly tapered off for quite some time, Cash entered the Betty Ford Clinic in 1983 following continued use of amphetamines.

Cash's popularity never wavered, though, and today he is remembered as one of the most successful and beloved country-rock crossovers in history. His career saw a resurgence in the early 2000s, particularly surrounding his popular remake of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt." His signature concert opener -- "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" -- has long been an iconic element of his career, which was depicted onscreen in 2005's "Walk the Line," which featured Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon in an Oscar-winning turn as Carter.

Cash died in 2003 due to complications of lung cancer surgery. He was 71.

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