- Legendary country singer Johnny Cash nearly left his daughters from his first marriage to Vivian Dustin out of his will.
- He left Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara $1 million each, which is not a lot when you consider his estate was worth between $60 and $100 million. It's unclear what led to this near-disinheritance.
- Johnny's son, John, inherited the royalty rights to Johnny's songs and continues to run the Johnny Cash estate.
In October 2023, fans of Johnny Cash will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Johnny Cash experience. According to the late singer's website, this show will feature "video of Johnny from episodes of The Johnny Cash TV Show projected on a screen above the stage, while a live band and singers accompany him in perfect sync." Not only will fans get to see and hear some of their favorite songs in a new medium, but they'll be privy to stories from Cash's only son with June Carter Cash.
What's missing from this unforgettable event is Cash's children from his first marriage to Vivian Distin. Apparently, this isn't the only thing they are absent from as his four daughters were very nearly cut from his will. Why did Johnny Cash disinherit his daughters? Let's get into it.
Did Johnny Cash disinherit his daughters? Not really, but kind of.
A source told Contact Music that after Johnny passed away on Sept. 12, 2003, his estate was divided up among his children, though not equally. Apparently, Johnny's four daughters from his first marriage: Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara, were left $1 million each which is no small potatoes, until you consider how much the singer's estate was worth. "At the time of his death, Johnny had an estimated wealth of between $60 and $100 million," via Express UK.
The royalties for Johnny's songs, most notably Ring of Fire, all went to his son John Carter Cash who is responsible for all the decisions made regarding his father's estate. "My dad started something in motion within his lifetime, with integrity, heart, purpose, and morality in his decision-making in the way he ran his business," John told The Nashville Ledger in 2012. Since his father's death, it has been John's job to keep the business of Johnny Cash alive.
Johnny Cash was best friends with his son.
John told Fox News Digital that his father was his best friend. "He really was. We laughed together. We traveled together. He was supportive of me." Johnny was also very lenient when it came to his only son: "I think he could have been a little bit tougher. I think I needed it sometimes. But my father never held a record of wrong. And we forgave each other and we healed. And together, we went through the struggles that we had to heal [from]."
Some of their closeness could be attributed to he demons they both thought as father and son struggled with addiction. "My father had gone through a treatment center in the early 1990s," John shared. "Well, I went through that same treatment center back in the early 1990s, and we were able to hash out a lot of our crap from when I was younger."
There is something to be said about John Carter Cash being the only child responsible for carrying the torch of his father's legacy. Was it because he was the child of the love of Johnny's life? Although his daughter speak highly of June Carter Cash as a stepmother, perhaps the relationship with their father was fractured after he left their mother. Or, maybe it's some sort of outdated idea about men handling business.
Larry King once asked Johnny Cash what he wanted to be remembered for. His answer might surprise some. He said, "As a good father," said the late singer.