Willie Nelson

American entertainer and songwriter Willie Nelson

Willie Hugh Nelson is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music.
Willie Nelson's personal information overview.
News about Willie Nelson from around the web
New Willie Nelson album arriving just in time for country icon's 85th birthday
LATimes - 8 days
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Willie Nelson, Chris Cornell, Alison Krauss and more set Johnny Cash writings to music in 'Forever Words'
LATimes - 17 days
Chris Cornell, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Willie Nelson are among the more than dozen major rock, pop, country and bluegrass artists contributing to an ambitious project setting recently unearthed Johnny Cash poetry, lyrics and letters to music. The resulting...
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Willie Nelson needs more time off
Fox News - 17 days
Top Talkers: Country legend cancels his February tour dates to recover completely from the flu.
Article Link:
 Fox News article
Willie Nelson cancels concerts, plus Mariah Carey cashes in
Fox News - about 1 month
Hollywood Nation: 84-year-old country legend Willie Nelson is still recovering from an illness that forced him to walk off stage in San Diego.
Article Link:
 Fox News article
Willie Nelson cancels shows after leaving a concert early
ABC News - about 2 months
Country music legend Willie Nelson has canceled shows in Nevada and California after leaving a concert early in San Diego
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 ABC News article
Willie Nelson sets Harvey benefit concert
CNN - 5 months
One day after Hollywood banded together for hurricane relief, Willie Nelson has announced his own gathering of famous faces and voices to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Article Link:
 CNN article
Willie Nelson, Roky Erickson, Eric Clapton: Twang, Psychedelia and Blues
NYTimes - 6 months
Mr. Nelson headlines the Outlaw Music Festival; Mr. Erickson hits Brooklyn and Jersey City; and Mr. Clapton brings some Austin six-stringers to the Garden.
Article Link:
 NYTimes article
Willie Nelson felt like an infinitely renewable resource at the Shrine
LATimes - 6 months
At some point there will come a day — and lately it’s felt uncomfortably close — when Willie Nelson is no longer available to shuffle onstage with his five-piece band, pick up the battered acoustic guitar he calls Trigger and rip into “Whiskey River” with his proprietary blend of wisdom and intensity. ...
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 LATimes article
Willie Nelson blames high altitude for cutting show short
Fox News - 6 months
Article Link:
 Fox News article
Willie Nelson And Jackie King On Piano Jazz
NPR - 7 months
Hear the country-music legend and the late jazz guitarist perform a 2002 session with Marian McPartland. (Image credit: Courtesy of South Carolina Public Radio)
Article Link:
 NPR article
Willie Nelson Lights Up Toby Keith's New Marijuana Ditty 'Wacky Tobaccy'
Huffington Post - 8 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Toby Keith knows you can’t do a country song about cannabis without having Willie Nelson involved in some capacity. On Thursday, the country superstar released “Wacky Tobaccy,” a ditty about the joys of smoking marijuana ― the real stuff the lyrics emphasize, not the synthetic kind. Although Keith has collaborated with Nelson before, the Red-Headed Stranger only appears on camera this time. “Willie Nelson’s in the video. He didn’t sing on it, but he...
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 Huffington Post article
Willie Nelson Urges Jeff Sessions To Smoke Some Pot
Huffington Post - 9 months
Country music legend Willie Nelson has some advice for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said marijuana is only “slightly less awful” than heroin. Nelson, a longtime advocate for legal pot, told Rolling Stone:  “I wonder if he’s tried both of them. I don’t think you can really make a statement like that unless you tried it all. So I’d like to suggest to Jeff to try it and then let me know later if he thinks he’s still telling the truth!” The 84-year-old County Music Hall of Famer has his own brand of marijuana, Willie’s Reserve, for sale where it’s legal and often speaks highly of his own personal experiences with the drug. Rolling Stone asked if there’s been a downside to his own habit.  “I haven’t run into any yet,” he said. “I guess if you go somewhere where it’s illegal, that’s a pretty good downside.” Police have arrested the singer several times for marijuana-related offenses. Nelson also shared his thoughts on Preside...
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 Huffington Post article
Willie Nelson Fast Facts
CNN - 10 months
Read CNN's Fast Facts about the life of Grammy Award winning musician Willie Nelson.
Article Link:
 CNN article
This Spring's Best Country Albums
Wall Street Journal - 10 months
New releases from Charlie Worsham, Angaleena Presley, Brad Paisley and Willie Nelson offer perspective from artists at different phases and stages of their careers.
Article Link:
 Wall Street Journal article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Willie Nelson
  • 2015
    Age 81
    In 2015 Nelson won the Gershwin Prize, the lifetime award of the Library of Congress.
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    After repeated instances of pneumonia and emphysema through the years, Nelson underwent stem-cell therapy in 2015 to improve the state of his lungs.
    Following the legalization of marijuana in different states, Nelson announced in 2015 through spokesman Michael Bowman the establishment of his own marijuana brand, Willie's Reserve.
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    In 2015, the publication of a second Nelson autobiography entitled It's a Long Story: My Life was announced.
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    His two sons Lukas and Micah with the band Promise of the Real have backed Neil Young on his single "A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop" which is from Young's concept album The Monsanto Years which was set for release at the end of June 2015.
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    In June 2015, his collaboration with Haggard Django and Jimmie topped Billboard's Top Country albums chart and reached number seven on the Billboard 200.
  • 2014
    Age 80
    In November 2014, it was announced that Nelson would be the host of the television series Inside Arlyn, shot at Arlyn Studio in Austin, Texas.
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    In October 2014, the braids of Nelson were sold for at an auction of the Waylon Jennings State.
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    In 2014, Nelson donated his personal collection to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.
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    A 2014 Tae Kwon Do Times magazine interview revealed that Nelson had developed an unorthodox manner of training during the lengthy periods of time he was on tour.
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    In 2014, after twenty years in the discipline, his Grand Master Sam Um presented him with a fifth-degree black belt in a ceremony held in Austin, Texas.
    His following release was Band of Brothers, in 2014, the first Nelson album to feature the most newly self-penned songs since 1996's Spirit.
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  • 2013
    Age 79
    During an interview with Texas Monthly in 2013, regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and Same-sex marriage in the United States, Nelson responded to a comparison the interviewer made with the Civil Rights Movement, stating: "We'll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this".
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  • 2012
    Age 78
    In February 2012, Legacy Recordings signed a deal with Nelson that included the release of new material, as well as past releases that would be selected and complemented with outtakes and other material selected by him.
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  • 2011
    Age 77
    It was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
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  • 2010
    Age 76
    On November 26, 2010, Nelson was arrested in Sierra Blanca, Texas, for possession of six ounces of marijuana found in his tour bus while traveling from Los Angeles back to Texas.
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    On May 26, 2010, the Associated Press reported that Nelson had cut his hair, and Nashville music journalist Jimmy Carter published a photograph of the pigtail-free Nelson on his website.
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    In 2010, Austin, Texas renamed Second Street to Willie Nelson Boulevard.
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    On June 23, 2010 he was inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
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    In April 2010, Nelson received the "Feed the Peace" award from The Nobelity Project for his extensive work with Farm Aid and overall contributions to world peace.
    In 2010, during an interview with Larry King, Nelson expressed his doubts with regards to the attacks and the official story.
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  • 2008
    Age 74
    In January 2008, Nelson filed a suit against the Texas Democratic Party, alleging that the party violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution by refusing to allow co-plaintiff Kucinich to appear on the primary ballot because he had scratched out part of the loyalty oath on his application.
    The single was certified platinum; while the album was certified quadruple-platinum, and later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • 2006
    Age 72
    While traveling to Ann W. Richards' funeral in 2006, Nelson, along with his manager and his sister, Bobbi, were arrested in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana and charged with possession of marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
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    A supporter of the LGBT movement, Nelson published in 2006 through iTunes a version of Ned Sublette's "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other", that met instant success.
  • 2005
    Age 71
    In 2005, Nelson and several other business partners formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel ("Bio-Willie"), a company that is marketing bio-diesel bio-fuel to truck stops.
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  • 2004
    Age 70
    In 2004, he and his wife Annie became partners with Bob and Kelly King in the building of two Pacific Bio-diesel plants, one in Salem, Oregon, and the other at Carl's Corner, Texas (the Texas plant was founded by Carl Cornelius, a longtime Nelson friend and the namesake for Carl's Corner).
    Nelson supported Dennis Kucinich's campaign in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries.
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  • 2001
    Age 67
    In 2001, following the September 11 attacks, he participated in the benefit telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes, leading the rest of the celebrities singing the song "America the Beautiful".
  • 1993
    Age 59
    Nelson then hid the guitar in his manager's house until his debt was paid in 1993.
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  • 1991
    Age 57
    In 1991, during his process with the IRS, Nelson was worried that Trigger could be auctioned off, stating: "When Trigger goes, I'll quit".
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  • 1988
    Age 54
    Following a divorce in 1988, he married his current wife, Annie D'Angelo, in 1991.
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    In 1988 his first book, Willie: An Autobiography, was published.
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  • 1986
    Age 52
    Other movies that Nelson acted in include Wag the Dog, Gone Fishin' (as Billy 'Catch' Pooler), the 1986 television movie Stagecoach (with Johnny Cash), Half Baked, Beerfest, The Dukes of Hazzard, Surfer, Dude and Swing Vote.He has also made guest appearances on Miami Vice (1986's "El Viejo" episode), Delta, Nash Bridges, The Simpsons, Monk, Adventures in Wonderland, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, King of the Hill, The Colbert Report, Swing Vote and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
    He portrayed the lead role in the 1986 film version of his album Red Headed Stranger.
  • 1984
    Age 50
    Meanwhile, he became more involved with charity work, such as singing on We are the World in 1984.
  • 1982
    Age 48
    He played the role of Red Loon in Coming Out of the Ice in 1982 and starred in Songwriter two years later.
  • 1980
    Age 46
    While the IRS disallowed his deductions for 1980, 1981 and 1982 (at a time that Nelson's income multiplied), due to penalties and interests, the debt increased by the end of the decade.
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    In 1980, Nelson performed on the south lawn of the White House.
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    During the 1980s, Nelson recorded a series of hit singles including "Midnight Rider", a 1980 cover of the Allman Brothers song which Nelson recorded for The Electric Horseman, the soundtrack "On the Road Again" from the movie Honeysuckle Rose, and a duet with Julio Iglesias titled "To All the Girls I've Loved Before".
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  • 1979
    Age 45
    As well as recording over sixty studio albums, Nelson has appeared in over thirty films and TV shows. His acting debut was in the 1979 film, The Electric Horseman, followed by appearances in Honeysuckle Rose, Thief, and Barbarosa.
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    Nelson's acting debut was in the 1979 film, The Electric Horseman, followed by appearances in Honeysuckle Rose, Thief, and Barbarosa.
  • 1978
    Age 44
    In 1978, Nelson released two more platinum albums.
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  • 1977
    Age 43
    In the summer of 1977, Nelson discovered that Reshen had been filing tax extensions and not paying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since he took over as his manager.
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  • 1975
    Age 41
    Throughout his 1975 tour, Nelson raised funds for PBS-affiliated stations across the south promoting Austin City Limits.
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  • 1974
    Age 40
    His next release, Phases and Stages, released in 1974, was a concept album about a couple's divorce, inspired by his own experience.
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  • 1973
    Age 39
    He formed his backing band, The Family, and by February 1973, he was recording his acclaimed Shotgun Willie at Atlantic Studios in New York City.
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  • 1972
    Age 38
    After recording his final RCA single – "Mountain Dew" (backed with "Phases, Stages, Circles, Cycles and Scenes") in late April 1972, RCA requested that Nelson renew his contract ahead of schedule, with the implication that RCA would not release his latest recordings if he did not.
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  • 1971
    Age 37
    The couple divorced in 1971, after Collie found a bill from the maternity ward of a Houston hospital charged to Nelson and Connie Koepke for the birth of Paula Carlene Nelson.
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    In early 1971 his single "I'm a Memory" reached the top 30.
  • 1970
    Age 36
    In addition to the problems in his career, Nelson divorced Shirley Collie in 1970.
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    By 1970, most of his songwriting royalties were invested in tours that did not produce significant profits.
  • 1966
    Age 32
    During his first few years on RCA Victor, Nelson had no significant hits, but from November 1966 through March 1969, his singles reached the Top 25 in a consistent manner. "One in a Row" (#19, 1966), "The Party's Over" (#24 during a 16-week chart run in 1967), and his cover of Morecambe & Wise's "Bring Me Sunshine" (#13, March 1969) were Nelson's best-selling records during his time with RCA.
  • 1965
    Age 31
    Country Willie – His Own Songs became Nelson's first RCA Victor album, recorded in April 1965.
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  • 1964
    Age 30
    By the fall of 1964, Nelson had moved to RCA Victor at the behest of Chet Atkins, signing a contract for US$10,000 per year.
    Fred Foster of Monument Records signed Nelson in early 1964, but only one single was released: "I Never Cared For You".
  • 1963
    Age 29
    Nelson's next marriage was to Shirley Collie in 1963.
    In 1963 Collie and Nelson were married in Las Vegas.
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  • 1962
    Age 28
    Nelson's tenure at Liberty yielded his first album entitled And Then I Wrote, released in September 1962.
  • 1961
    Age 27
    Nelson signed with Liberty Records and was recording by August 1961 at Quonset Hut Studio.
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  • 1960
    Age 26
    Nelson moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1960, but was unable to find a label to sign him.
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    He sold "Family Bible" to Buskirk for and "Night Life" for. "Family Bible" turned into a hit for Claude Gray in 1960.
  • 1958
    Age 24
    After his son Billy was born in 1958, the family moved to Houston, Texas.
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  • 1956
    Age 22
    Nelson was hired by KVAN in Vancouver, Washington and appeared frequently on a television show. He made his first record in 1956, "No Place For Me", that included Leon Payne's "Lumberjack" on the B-side.
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  • 1955
    Age 21
    With the equipment of the station, Nelson made his first two recordings in 1955: "The Storm Has Just Begun" and "When I've Sung My Last Hillbilly Song".
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  • 1952
    Age 18
    Willie Nelson has married four times and fathered seven children. His first marriage was to Martha Matthews; it lasted from 1952 to 1962.
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  • 1950
    Age 16
    After leaving school, in 1950, he joined the United States Air Force for eight to nine months.
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  • 1933
    Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas on April 29, 1933, during the Great Depression, to Myrle Marie (née Greenhaw) and Ira Doyle Nelson.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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