Johnny Cash, one of the most influential country singer-songwriters in history, is going viral on TikTok because one of his songs is being featured in a trend.

While Cash has an immense catalog of popular and critically acclaimed works that he could be recognized for, it is the humorous song “The Chicken in Black” that has caught TikTok’s attention.

The song is about Cash undergoing a brain transplant with a bank robber and becoming a criminal. When he tries to get his old brain back, the doctor who performed the transplant reveals that he put it into a chicken that is now making money as a performer.

The New Yorker explained in 2014 that, in his autobiography, Cash revealed that he made this song “intentionally atrocious” as a way to get back at his label, Columbia, which he believed was neglecting him.

The TikTok trend comes as Universal Music prepares to release a posthumous Cash album called “Songwriter,” which will feature 11 original compositions by Cash, on June 28, 2024.

TikTok users who are taking part in the trend often show off their dogs by lifting them up and pointing them at the camera like a gun. As they do so, they sing along to Cash’s lyrics from “The Chicken in Black”:

“I said, ‘Stick ‘em up everybody, I’m robbin’ this place / Drop all of your money in my guitar case / Don’t nobody move and don’t nobody reach for that door.’”


I think I have the heaviest dog on tik tok #johnnycash

♬ The Chicken in Black - Johnny Cash

According to TikTok, “The Chicken in Black” has reached the top 10 most popular songs on TikTok alongside such songs as “Like That!” by Laila! and “Tell Ur Girlfriend” by Lay Bankz. It stands out among all the run-of-the-mill pop songs.

Who is Johnny Cash?

Per the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cash came from a humble background, growing up on government-granted land and working a cotton farm.

After high school, Cash served in the Air Force for four years. Upon his return, he married his first wife, Vivian Liberto, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked as an appliance salesman and radio host.

Soon thereafter, as he chased a recording contract, Cash approached Sun Records studio, where he was at first turned away. Not to be deterred, he returned and delivered his first recording, which was met with success, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

His stardom would only rise from there and would cement him as one of the greatest musicians to ever live.

Most popular Johnny Cash Songs

“The Chicken in Black” may be trending right now but it is not nearly as popular as these cherished Johnny Cash classics.

‘I Walk the Line’

One of his earliest songs, “I Walk the Line” was the first of his songs to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and it is still popular today. It was written for his wife Vivian and is about his commitment and devotion to her.

‘Folsom Prison Blues’

Also one of his earliest recordings, this song would become a No. 1 hit years after its release in 1968, when he performed it live to a crowd of inmates at Folsom State Prison. It features the iconic line “But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”


Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” originally written and performed by the band Nine Inch Nails, per Genius, stands as a moving culmination to his life and work.

According to Genius, the song was released shortly before Cash’s death in 2003. It has an accompanying music video that is listed as second in Rolling Stones’ list of The 100 Greatest Music Videos.