How Johnny Cash and June Carter held and consoled Lenny Kravitz when his mother died - BBC

Cheryl Kahla
Sep 10, 2018
10:06 A.M.
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One of the songs on Lenny Kravitz's new album, "Raise Vibration," contains lyrics in tribute of the late Johnny Cash and June Carter.


Kravitz told BBC that the duo consoled him when his mother passed back in 1995 at the age of 66. Kravitz, then 31, had flown to California to be with Roxie Roker during her last days.

He stayed with producer Rick Rubin and shared a home with Cash and Carter. Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa.

Kravitz's mother was a star in her own right and was most famously known for her portrayal of Helen Willis in "The Jeffersons."


She appeared in 196 episodes for the duration of the show from 1975 until 1985. Roker also starred in "Cagney & Lacey," "The Love Boat," and "Murder, She Wrote."

Carter, Cash, and Kravitz were alone in the house when he received news of his mother's passing. He said they came down the stairs, delighted to see that he was back and asked how he was doing.

Kravitz was still standing with the phone in his hand and replied that his mother had just passed away. He said they walked over to him and embraced him.


"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. The two of them."

He explained that he didn't know the duo and they weren't "lifelong friends," only flatmates, but they "decided in that moment [to] treat me like they would treat someone in their family."

Kravitz added that it was a beautiful moment, and even though he didn't think he would ever include it in a song, the lyrics came to him in a dream.


"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."

Both Johnny Cash and June Carter passed away eight years later at the ages of 73. Carter's cause of death was complications following heart-valve replacement surgery, while Cash's was Diabetes Mellitus.

Cash's childhood home in Arkansas – where the family-of-nine shared five rooms – was added to the National Register of History Places earlier this year.

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