There are few musicians alive as beloved as Willie Nelson. The iconic country singer-songwriter has been making great music for six decades and is still going strong.
On April 29, Nelson hit a major milestone as he celebrated his 90th birthday — and he had a birthday party unlike any other. Over the weekend, dozens of music stars from yesterday and today came together for a two-night concert event honoring Willie Nelson’s life and music.
The event was one of the most eagerly awaited music events of the year. From April 29-30, LA’s famous Hollywood Bowl amphitheater was packed with a variety of artists all coming together for one reason: to celebrate Willie Nelson.
The weekend’s lineup included Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, Dave Matthews, Keith Richards, Lyle Lovett, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Rosanne Cash, Snoop Dogg, Ziggy Marley, Beck, Sheryl Crow, The Lumineers, The Chicks, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Leon Bridges and Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah.
These artists span many generations and musical genres, which speaks to Willie Nelson’s universal appeal as an artist.
“It didn’t matter if you were a hillbilly or a hippie, everyone was a Willie Nelson fan,” actor Owen Wilson said during the event, per AP. “As a kid growing up in Texas, it seemed like there was nothing bigger than Willie Nelson, And looking out at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, it still feels like there’s nothing bigger than Willie Nelson.”
“I played his 60th birthday special, his 70th, his 85th, and now his 90th,” Lyle Lovett told People. “Any time that I’ve ever worked with him, he’s such a generous person and performer. Willie shines the light on all the people in his band, people in his family. Willie shines his life on everyone, and he’s just so generous of spirit.”
“The thing about Willie that is so great, he just likes playing with people and that’s the funnest thing there is to do,” added Norah Jones.
“I just always love seeing him and popping on stage is always the most special, but just he’s sweet and he’s kind, and he’s funny and he’s good human.”
The man of the hour, meanwhile, was just happy to be there.
“I want to thank all the artists who came out tonight to help celebrate whatever it is we’re celebrating,” Willie Nelson joked to the crowd, per AP.
Over the two-night event, the all-star lineup performed covers of many of Willie Nelson’s biggest songs, and end the end of both evenings the 90-year-old legend took the stage to perform his own hits.
On his birthday on Saturday, Nelson’s setlist included dueting with Neil Young on “Are There Any More Real Cowboys?” and joining Snoop Dogg to perform “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” He also played his classic tune “On the Road Again” and performed “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? / I’ll Fly Away” with all the show’s performers.
Even at 90, Willie Nelson is still going strong and is embarking on a new tour this year. He released his 72nd studio album A Beautiful Time last year, winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Album.
He is currently a nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Willie Nelson is truly one of the living legends of music, and we’re glad he’s still going strong at 90!
We’re so glad to see so many of music’s biggest stars came out to celebrate his life and music — happy birthday, Willie!
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