Mit „Johnny Cash“ veröffentlicht Multiplatin-Rocker Lenny Kravitz nach „Low“ einen weiteren Videoclip aus seinem am 7. September 2018 veröffentlichten Album „Raise Vibration“ (BMG / ADA). In der zutiefst persönlichen Ballade verarbeit Kravitz den Tod seiner Mutter Roxie Roker und seine zufällige Begegnung mit Johnny Cash und dessen Frau June Carter als er die traurige Nachricht erhielt.
Der Song spiegelt die Trauer und das Mitgefühl wider, die Kravitz an diesem Tag erfuhr: „Hold me like Johnny Cash / When I lost my mother. Whisper in my ear / Just like June had to.“
Kravitz, der ein sehr enges Verhältnis zu seiner Mutter pflegte, wohnte zu der Zeit im Haus des Produzenten Rick Rubin und war gerade von einer Tour zurück, wie er ein einem Interview mit der BBC erzählte: „I got off a plane from Tokyo and I went straight to the hospital. My mother was alive, but she was slipping. I thought she maybe had another couple of days in her [so] 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.“
Kravitz erinnert sich: „I got the phone call when I was in the house, and I’m standing there with the portable phone in my hand, just taking this in and Johnny and June are walking down the stairs (…) 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 (…) 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.“
Über die Inspiration zum Song sagt Kravitz: „I heard the melody, I heard the music, but I did not understand why I was getting the words ‚Johnny Cash‚. It obviously is something that impacted me and has been sitting within my spirit. They were beautiful, real people – and I guess that might have been the last time that I was consoled in that way.“