Although Cash is often classified as a country artist, her music draws on many genres, including folk, pop, rock, blues, and most notably americana. In the 1980s, she had a string of chart-topping singles, which crossed musical genres and landed on both the country and pop charts, the most commercially successful being her 1981 breakthrough hit "Seven Year Ache", which topped the U.S. country singles charts and reached the Top 30 on the U.S. pop singles charts.
The following year, in 1991, Cash ended her marriage and moved from Nashville to New York City, where she has continued to write, record, and perform. Since 1991 she has released five albums, written two books, and edited a collection of short stories. Her fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Oxford American, New York Magazine, and various other periodicals and collections.
Cash won a Grammy in 1985 for "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me", and has received 12 other Grammy nominations. She has had 11 No. 1 country hit singles, 21 Top 40 country singles, and two gold records. Cash was the 2014 recipient of Smithsonian magazine's American Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts category.
On February 8, 2015, Cash won three Grammy awards for Best Americana Album for The River & the Thread, Best American Roots Song with John Leventhal and Best American Roots Performance for A Feather's Not A Bird.