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Hailed as "the undisputed highlight" of the Americana Music Awards held last Friday, Johnny Cash made an appearance at the ceremony to receive the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award.

The award is the first of its kind, and those in attendance were pleasantly surprised to see Cash accept the award in person, as he has been plagued by various health problems recently.

Founder of the First Amendment Center, John Seigenthaler, presented the award to Cash, praising him for speaking out on behalf of the poor and oppressed.

"At a time of tragedy, terror and civil strife and danger, he knows that we must reach beyond the bombs and the barriers to embrace Christian, Jew and Muslim as one. This 'Man in Black' is a symbol of rebellion against those whose minds are closed to other ideas," said Seigenthaler.

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