Rosanne Cash to Receive ‘John Lennon Award’ for Gun Violence Activism
By STEPHEN L. BETTs / November 14, 2018
Rosanne Cash will receive the John Lennon Real Love Award at a tribute in New York City. Michael Lavine
Cash will perform several of her favorite Lennon and Beatles classics during the concert, which will also include guests Marc Cohn, Jesse Colin Young (the Youngbloods), Willie Nile, Scott Sharrard and Mark Erelli.
Non-profit organization Theatre Within presented its first tribute event for the late musician as a neighborhood gathering at their studio shortly after Lennon was gunned down outside the Dakota apartment building in New York in December 1980. Proceeds from the tribute will support Theatre Within’s ongoing free workshops in creative expression and mindfulness, which use Lennon’s songs and message to encourage creativity and truth. The organization currently provides workshops through Gilda’s Club NYC, for children who have lost a parent to cancer, as well as adults in treatment and others impacted by cancer. The tribute concert is the only event of its kind worldwide sanctioned by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.
“Rosanne Cash, with her passionate voice as an artist and activist, has enriched American folk and country music traditions, while speaking out against gun violence and urging her fellow country musicians to take a stand for gun control,” Ono said in a statement. “These are values that John would truly embrace and I think it is beautiful that Theatre Within is honoring Rosanne with this year’s John Lennon Real Love Award.”
Cash has been an outspoken advocate for gun control and instrumental in encouraging fellow artists to stand up to the National Rifle Association. In a powerful op-ed piece for the New York Times after last year’s mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Cash wrote that by swaying influential votes in Congress to loosen gun restrictions “the NRA funds domestic terrorism.”
Of the award named for the former Beatle, Cash says, “In songwriting, in activism and in trying to live a fearless life, I can’t begin to count the times I’ve thought to myself, ‘What would John do?’ I am deeply honored.”
On November 2nd, Cash released her latest album, She Remembers Everything. She also recently collaborated with musician Keb’ Mo’ on the anthemic track “Put a Woman in Charge,” and joined songwriter Mark Erelli, along with Sheryl Crow, Lori McKenna, Josh Ritter and Anais Mitchell on the anti-gun-violence song “By Degrees.”