The legend keeps on going despite persistent illness and his 70th birthday appearing on the horizon....

Despite illness and his approaching 70th birthday, country legend JOHNNY CASH does not appear to be slowing down and will contribute a new track to a forthcoming MEL GIBSON film.

Cash recorded his guitar and vocals for a song called ‘For You’ on Sunday (January 13) at his plantation studio in the Caribbean. MTV reports Cash’s manager Lou Robin describing the song as “dark alternative/country” in the mould of the legend’s most recent album ‘American III: Solitary Man’.

Dave Matthews, the singer who enjoys superstar status in the US but is practically unknown in the UK and Europe, will collaborate with Cash on the track, adding vocals.

The song will appear on the soundtrack for ‘We Are Soldiers’ starring Mel Gibson and Madeleine Stowe. The film is due to appear later this year.

Meanwhile, Cash is working on his fourth album for American Recordings, teaming up again with Rick Rubin, the producer who has helped revitalise his career. Though progress has been hampered by Cash’s occasional hospitalisation – he suffers from a condition that makes him susceptible to pneumonia – the star has already laid down ten tracks, and hopes to have the record finished by late spring.

As previously reported on NME.COM, Columbia will release a new compilation ‘Man In Black: The Very Best Of Johnny Cash’ to commemorate the star’s 70th birthday in February. The 40-song set is due for release in the UK on February 25, a day before Cash’s birthday. The album spans his entire five-decade career, from early Sun Recording years – when Cash shared studio time with other maverick greats Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins – and through to 2000.