Country music superstar Willie Nelson just celebrated his 90th birthday, doing so at the tail-end of April with a two-day concert birthday bash. He also posted a collection of photos of himself on Twitter, saying “90 photos for 90 years.”
90 photos for 90 years pic.twitter.com/FXfZ4p7iFx
— Willie Nelson (@WillieNelson) April 29, 2023
Speaking on his near-miraculously reaching 90 years of age, the American singer-songwriter told People, “I never thought I’d get here.” Continuing, Nelson told People, “This ain’t nothing. It’s another day.”
He then added that the best present he could get for his 90th birthday is getting to play on stage to a huge crowd, saying, “I get a lot of fun out of playing for an audience. There’s a great energy exchange there. It’s what keeps me going.”
For reference, to commemorate the landmark of Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday, a huge crowd of 18,000 fans gathered at the Hollywood Bowl for a few nights of music marketed as “Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90.” Nelson played live for the crowd, along with other singers such as Cheryl Crow, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Beck, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews, Stephen Stills of Crosby, and Stills & Nash.
He also commented on the struggles of his early career to People, saying, “I quit after every tour, then two days later I’m ready to go back. Billy Joe Shaver wrote in a song, ‘Moving is the closest thing to being free,’ and that’s the way I look at it. I enjoy riding up and down the highway.”
And, despite having stuck at it for so many years, Nelson knows how to take a break when he needs to. Commenting on that to People, he said, “Roger Miller told me, ‘Sometimes the well dries up, and you have to wait and let it fill up again.’ I believe that.”
Then, commenting on his laid-back view of life and how he’s gotten to be so old, he said, “As they say, laughter’s the best medicine. I’ve always enjoyed a good joke.” He then said, “There’s probably other things I will do and can do, but I’m not going to push myself too hard. I know one day it all ends, but I’m not rushing it.”
Reminding readers of Nelson’s early life and tough rise to fame in the 20th century, People added:
Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents in Abbott, Texas, Nelson wrote his first song by age 7 and joined his first band at 10. By 1960 he took his music dreams to Nashville, where he broke through with his debut LP, … And Then I Wrote, two years later.
Though he had written hit songs through the ’60s, Nelson grew tired of the Music City scene in the early ’70s and moved to Austin, where he helped pioneer outlaw country with albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages.
In 1979 he kick-started his acting career in The Electric Horseman, his first of more than 30 feature films. And the next year he released his quintessential hit “On the Road Again,” an ode to his nomadic lifestyle that still rings true.
Featured image credit: By Robbiework, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3530113
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