Can you name the only musician who is (a) going into this Grammy week with nominations in folk and country categories as well as (b) hearing his music on VH1 and MTV2? Some hints: He is the only 70-year-old artist getting regular airplay on modern-rock giant KROQ-FM (106.7) and public radio tastemaker KCRW-FM (89.9), and his new music video is so poignant that Bono, David Bowie and Trent Reznor have raved about it as a standout achievement in the genre.
The simple answer: The Man in Black is back.
Johnny Cash is as unlikely a success story as you will find these days, thanks to his unvarnished take on the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt."
"It's a captivating, amazing song, and stations such as KROQ should be praised for hearing how it transcends genre," said Jeff Pollack, a leading radio consultant. "And then when you see the video, it makes it even more unforgettable."
The song is from his album "American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around," released in November, but the track has drawn interest in recent weeks due to a wrenching video by director Mark Romanek. "I've made about 40 music videos and I've been doing this for about 12 years," said Romanek, who directed last year's Robin Williams drama "One Hour Photo." "But I've never had a reaction to anything like this video is getting."