Johnny Cash's daughter ROSEANNE and son JOHN JR have paid tribute to DEF Jam founder Rick Rubin for giving their late father a will to live as he neared death.

The siblings have made their feelings known in a Vanity Fair tribute to the late country star, who died a year ago (SEP03).

Roseanne Cash credits Rubin for giving her dad a confidence boost that allowed him to die a very happy man.

She says, "Rick came at just the right time, and dad was just the right age that that could be unlocked in him. He got all his old confidence back.

"It was kind of a mature confidence - it wasn't that kind of punky, rebellious confidence of his early years.

"You could see that their connection went back into the mists of time somewhere - like these guys didn't just meet 11 years ago."

Meanwhile, his producer son John Jr wrote a heartening thank you note to Rubin, which he insisted on including in the piece.

He wrote, "You were many things to my father in the last decade of his life - mentor, defining inspirator, producer - but, most of all, a friend.

"My father learned to believe in your vision, and, in doing so, reawakened his own... May your heart grow in faith and peace."

16/09/2004 02:50