Rosanne Cash has been fearlessly vocal about her social and political views, even in a culture that can be less-than-receptive to differing viewpoints, and this fall, she'll be honored for her dedication to speaking her mind. The Americana Music Association has selected the singer-songwriter as the 2018 recipient of the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award.

The Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award is being given to Cash for her bold advocacy for artists' rights in the music industry as a board member for the Content Creators Coalition. Cash gave testimony before the United States Congress in 2014 on the issue of intellectual property rights and digital music licensing.

Cash is also being recognized for her work to end gun violence with groups including Everytown for Gun Safety. The singer-songwriter has made no apologies for her stance on gun control, even after her statements garnished intense backlash on social media.

“We are truly humbled to present this award to Rosanne Cash during this year’s program,” Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, shares. “She has been — and continues to be — a crusader for not only artists in our community but for all artists and those whose rights may have been compromised, and we want to rightfully honor that fighting spirit.”

The Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award is given by the Americana Music Association in partnership with the First Amendment Center. The latter organization recognizes Cash as an example of how artists can use their musical platforms as vehicles to communicate beliefs and views that are important to them.

“It’s fitting that Rosanne Cash’s first studio recording was her rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s "Broken Freedom Song" in 1974," says Ken Paulson, the president of the First Amendment Center. "That foreshadowed an extraordinary musical career distinguished by its honesty, integrity and compassion."

Cash will receive her honor during the 2018 Americana Music Awards ceremony. The event is scheduled to take place on Sept. 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

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