Texas singer and songwriter Willie Nelson celebrates turning 90

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This month marks 90 times Willie Nelson has experienced a trip around the sun here on planet Earth. For his fans that occupy every corner of the globe, this month gives reason to celebrate Nelson’s contributions to music and his unique style and individuality that only embodies the red-headed stranger himself. 

Born in 1933 in Abbott, Texas, Nelson grew up singing gospel music in the Baptist Church with his late sister and long-time pianist, Bobbie Nelson. Who passed away in March of 2022 at age 91. 

Willie didn’t like picking cotton, so to help earn money, he began playing at dance halls and honky tonks with local German and Czech polka bands, from age 13 through high school, according to a biography PBS published on Nelson’s life.  

Nelson later moved to Nashville in 1960 and found work as a staff writer for Pamper Music and became known as one of the most talented songwriters in the business. He wrote Patsy Cline’s famous hit “Crazy” and Billy Walker’s “Funny How Time Slips Away.” 

After writing a few big hits for others, Nelson soon found that his love for creating music his way did not sell well in Nashville. That rejection would later lead to Nelson moving back to Texas to create music the way he envisioned. 

Nelson (is) was known for playing with a slower off-beat tempo, making him unique but different in style. Fast forward to Texas in the 1970s, Nelson started playing music on his terms, and the rest is success history.

Now at age 90, after seven decades of continuous music and live concert tours, Nelson’s extraordinary career and contributions to music are no denying. He’s still on tour, playing live during his 90th birthday with ZZ Top in New Braunfels, Texas, on April 14. 

To pay tribute to Nelson and his extraordinary music library, here are a few music charts hits from a lasting career that has stood the test of time. 

Willie Nelson and the Hit Medley On The Grand Ole Opry in 1965:

Willie Nelson, the “Red-Headed Stranger,” live from Austin City Limits in 1976:

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