Whatever Happened To Johnny Cash's Five Kids?

Johnny Cash was a country and rock music icon whose career spanned nearly 50 years. His most popular hits, including "Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line," and "Man in Black," continue to be cherished today by fans across the globe. However, there are no bigger fans of Cash and his music than his beloved five children.

Cash welcomed four daughters named Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara, with his first wife, Vivian Liberto, whom he wed in 1954. By 1966, their marriage was over thanks to Cash's drug and alcohol abuse, constant touring, and close relationship with singer June Carter. In 1968, Cash married Carter, and the couple welcomed one son, John Carter Cash. All five of Cash's children would find different paths in life. But one thing they all had in common was keeping their father's legacy alive and remembering him for loving them despite his setbacks. 

Each of Johnny's kids has honored their father in some way, whether through their own music, autobiographical work, or interviews. However, we rarely hear about his kids and what they might be up to today. What exactly happened to Rosanne Cash, Kathy Cash, Cindy Cash, Tara Cash, and John Carter Cash? Let's take a look below!

Rosanne Cash followed in her father's footsteps

Rosanne Cash is the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto. Born in May 1955, Rosanne had a strong passion for music, just like her father.

Rosanne's album debut was 1980's "Right or Wrong," and she would later record 15 studio albums in the country and pop genres. Her most successful single was 1981's "Seven Year Ache," which topped the Billboard country charts. The '80s were great for Rosanne, who also won her first Grammy Award in 1985 for her song "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me." In 2015, the singer took home three Grammys, including Best Americana Album for "The River & the Thread." That same year, Rosanne was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rosanne's latest record is 2018's "She Remembers Everything." 

During an interview with People, Rosanne revealed that she never considered becoming a singer and would have preferred being a songwriter. "I didn't think I could sing. And I grew up thinking becoming famous was about the worst thing you could do. You went on the road, you started doing drugs and got divorced and didn't see your kids, and everything fell apart," she shared. Rosanne put her songwriting skills to good use. Her father recorded her composition "Love Has Lost Again" for his album "One Piece at a Time."

Rosanne married musicians

Rosanne Cash had no ill will towards her father when he found love again with June Carter Cash. "I had two really good examples from women in my life. My mom gave me this powerful sense of discipline, family, mothering, and detail orientation. And June gave me this sense of expansiveness and how to live life as a performer," she told People.

And, just like her father, Rosanne would marry people in music. Her first husband was country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell, whom she married from 1979 to 1992. The former couple shares three daughters named Caitlin, Carrie, and Chelsea, with Rosanne also raising Crowell's daughter Hannah from a previous marriage. In 1995, Rosanne married musician and music producer John Leventhal. The couple welcomed a son named Jakob in 1999, who has, unsurprisingly, found a passion in music.

In 2010, Rosanne published her memoir "Composed," which depicted her life with her famous father, stepmother and road to music success. She's also written a children's book, "Penelope Jane: A Fairy." 

Kathy Cash didn't like to be on stage, but she married a well-known singer

Kathy Cash was born a year after her sister Rosanne Cash in 1956. However, she wasn't big on singing like her older sibling. Although she participated in family concerts like their 1978 Christmas Special, where she sang "Silent Night" with her father, three sisters, and even her step-sisters from June Carter Cash, singing wasn't in the cards for Kathy.

Speaking about her brief music career, Kathy shared with the Johnny Cash Infocenter, "I didn't do that [for] long, I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all. I'm not shy at all, but he put me on a stage, and my knees were knocking. I didn't enjoy it at all. So he gave me the opportunity: if you want to sing, sing; if you don't, don't. I [sang] for our five times and finally said, 'This just isn't me.' And he said, 'That's okay baby, if it's not you, it's not you.' So I sat it out.'"

Despite not wanting to start a singing career, she married a musician. Kathy has been married to country singer Jimmy Tittle since 1982. Tittle worked alongside her father as a singer and bassist until he and Kathy welcomed children.

Kathy wasn't happy with Walk The Line

Kathy Cash was not a fan of the 2015 film "Walk the Line," which depicted the highs and lows of Johnny Cash's life. The movie starred Joaquin Phoenix as the "Man in Black" and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash. Actor Ginnifer Goodwin portrayed Johnny's first wife and Kathy's mother, Vivian Liberto. Despite showing Johnny's rise to country music fame, it also tells the tale of his divorce from Liberto and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Speaking to People, Kathy shared that she was unhappy with how the film depicted her mother. The movie had caused her so much distress that she walked out of a private family screening of the movie. "My mom was basically a nonentity in the entire film except for the mad little psycho who hated his career. That's not true. She loved his career and was proud of him until he started taking drugs and stopped coming home," she shared. 

Kathy's younger sister, Cindy Cash, refused to watch the film. Speaking to the Hattiesburg American, Cindy believed that it portrayed her mother badly and had forgotten to mention anything about her or her three sisters. "It's basically about my dad and June's adultery and my mother's agony," she shared. Thankfully, the four sisters got to honor their mother with the 2020 documentary "My Darling Vivian." 

Cindy Cash joined a band with other well-known celebrity kids

Cindy Cash was born in 1959 and is the third daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto. Like her older sister, Cindy also realized she had a knack for singing and was going on tour with her father and stepmother, June Carter Cash, when she was just a teenager. In 1979, while on tour, Cindy sang alongside Johnny to his song "Lay Me Down in Dixie." Cindy enjoyed touring with her father, telling The Northside Sun in 2005, "I loved going on the road with him. That was where he was most comfortable. That's where we got to know each other best. On the road, we bonded, and I found out that I am much like him it's scary."

Cindy ended up creating her band, "The Next Generation." The band included Peggy Lynn, daughter of Loretta Lynn, Kathy Twitty, daughter of Conway Twitty, and Georgette Jones, the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. The band never put out an album, with Cindy telling the Sioux City Journal in 2010 that she slowed down her singing career: "That was in the late '80s and was great fun and a great learning experience for me. But I haven't performed in at least 10 years." 

Though she strayed from the spotlight, Cindy and her three sisters spoke fondly of their father and their memories with him during the 2017 "Becoming Our Father: Johhny Cash's Daughters In Conversation" at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

She's since retired from performing

Cindy Cash stepped back from performing to live a quieter life and became an antiques dealer. When she was a teenager, she and her father, Johnny Cash, looked for treasure with the help of metal detectors in their free time on the former family farm in Tennessee. Once she stopped singing, she continued her love of finding old and unique items by owning an antique booth at The Antiques Mall of the South in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Cindy told The Northside Sun in 2005 that her stepmother, June Carter Cash, loved to collect antiques. "Dad used to say the bus would automatically turn into antique stores. June actually had an antique store at her office open to the public," she shared. 

Cindy has been married three times. Her first marriage was to Cris Brock, and the former couple welcomed a daughter. Her second marriage was to singer-songwriter Marty Stuart from 1983 to 1988. She married her third husband, Eddie Panetta, in 2003. Sadly, Panetta died in a motorcycle accident in 2009. Like her other siblings, Cindy also wrote a book about her beloved father. In 1997, she released "The Cash Family Scrapbook," a book filled with private photographs and memories of the Cash family.

Tara Cash is the most private sibling

Born in 1961, Tara Cash is the youngest daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto. Unlike most of her siblings, Tara has mostly kept out of the spotlight. However, she did release a book about her famous father in 2014. 

"Recollections by J.R. Cash" features handwritten memories by the "Hurt" singer. In 1995, Tara asked her father to answer questions about his childhood, and the following year, he gave his answers to his daughter for her birthday. Tara created a book from them, including personal photos of Johnny and their family. "These questions are not the typical questions that he was asked in the countless number of interviews he did in his career," Tara told KASU. She added, "This book tells the story of a young boy, his home life, his friends and family, his dedication to his work, and where all of his hopes and dreams came alive in Dyess, Arkansas."

In 2020, the documentary about Johnny's first wife, "My Darling Vivian," was released, which includes interviews with Johnny and Vivian's four daughters. During an interview with 101 FM News, Tara shared that it finally spotlighted their mother, who was mainly left in the dark regarding their famous father. "Not only did she [Vivian] exist, but she was a huge, beautiful part of our lives, so it was time that her story was told." Tara lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Fred Schwoebel and has two kids.

John Carter Cash also caught the music bug

John Carter Cash is the only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Born in 1970, John started his music career at three, when his parents would take him up on stage during their performances. "That feeling — the intensity and the energy from the audience — is a beautiful thing and stayed with me from then," John told Cowboys & Indians magazine

John has released three albums – "Bitter Harvest," "The Family Secret," and "We Must Believe in Magic." Besides making his own music, John has been working as a record producer for years. He helped produce works for Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Costello. However, his most cherished work as a producer was working on his mother's albums "Press On" and "Wildwood Flower." The latter won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. "I'm most definitely proud of my mother's albums. So I'm always following the heart and the memory that connects with my mother," he shared with Cowboys & Indians magazine.

John also worked with his father. He recalled with CBS Morning in 2014 that he worked as a producer for the final three albums of his father's American series. Remembering his times with Johnny, he shared, "My dad was full of laughter, he was full of joy, full of spirit. He had a great sense of humor and a great love."

John also published books about his famous family

John Carter Cash has spoken fondly of his parents and has written about them in several published works. In 2003, John released his first book, "Anchored in Love: An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash." The book discusses June's music career and her marriage to Johnny through the telling of their only son. In 2011, John released a book about the life of his famous dad titled "House of Cash: The Legacies of My Father, Johnny Cash." The book also includes unpublished photos, lyrics, and art of the iconic singer.

John is also the author of three children's books and has even written a cookbook titled "The Cash and Carter Family Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Johnny and June's Table." The book features favorite dishes from Johnny and June, including the singer's Old Iron-Pot Chili recipe. 

In his cookbook, John also shares memories from his childhood with his famous parents and stories from other musicians who have shared a table with Johnny and June. "The stories that are in the book are varied and about learning how to cook in New York City when I was a boy, working on the road with my mother and father, and eating all around the world... but there's a lot more to it than just sitting around the dinner table — the book is greatly diverse," John told Cowboys & Indian magazine. He is married to Anna Cristina Cash and has two children with her, along with three children from previous marriages.