American III: Solitary Man is the third album in the American series by Johnny Cash released in 2000 (and his 85th overall album). The album was notable for being Cash's highest charting (#11 Country) solo studio LP since his 1976 One Piece at a Time, an album that reached No. 2 Country based on the title cut. To the present day, Cash's studio albums for the American series have continued to sell and chart extremely well, as evidenced by the platinum #22 POP, #2 C&W American IV: The Man Comes Around (released one year before his death) and the gold, #1 on both charts, American V: A Hundred Highways.
Between Unchained and Solitary Man, Cash's health declined due to various ailments, and he was even hospitalized for pneumonia, and the illness forced him to curtail his touring. The album American III: Solitary Man contained Cash's response to his illness, typified by a version of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down", as well as a version of U2's "One". Changes to Cash's voice due to his health problems are noticeable on most tracks when compared to his most recent preceding albums.
American III: Solitary Man, just like Cash's two previous albums produced by Rick Rubin, was a Grammy winner, taking home the award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Cash's version of the Neil Diamond classic "Solitary Man". Cash continued to receive critical appreciation for his American series of albums — on aggregate review site Metacritic.com the third album in Cash's American series received a score of 80 (despite middling reviews from publications such as L.A. Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine).