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Kid Rock to host CMT week dedicated to Johnny Cash
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Kid Rock loves Johnny Cash enough to title a song on his latest album, "First Kiss," after the late American music icon.

That makes him an appropriate choice to host CMT's week-long tribute to Cash, which runs Sept. 8-12. The channel is renaming itself Cash Music Television during the course of the celebration, which includes an airing of the Cash biopic "Walk The Line" as well as special Cash-themed programming throughout the week, leading up to the premiere of a new documentary, "Johnny Cash: American Rebel" on Sept. 12 -- the 12th anniversary of Cash's death, at the age of 71.

Rock will be seen in segments about Cash and introducing the programming, and he'll co-host a special edition of "CMT Top 20 Countdown," also on Sept. 12.

"I'm a huge fan of Johnny Cash," Rock said during an interview earlier this year at his studio in Clarkston. As for the "Johnny Cash" song on "First Kiss," Rock said that, "I didn't go into it saying I wanted to write this song with Johnny Cash and June Carter and what appeared to be a wonderful life and love together, from the outside looking in," but the couple was a perfect metaphor for the relationship he describes in the tune.

"It was pretty special," Rock said. "I even got to do a listening party in Nashville and John Carter Cash (the couple's son) came and I was excited to play him the song kinda before it came out, make sure that somebody in the family gave me the nod that I put Johnny out there in the right light, and I was happy to get his seal of approval on it."

Rock, who played a record-setting 10 shows at the DTE Energy Music Theatre during August, wraps up his Cheap Date Tour on Sept. 26 in Durant, Okla. and hosts a Kid Rock's Fish Fry festival Oct. 9-10 in Whites Creek, Tenn.

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