Happy Birthday Willie Nelson


by TYLER SIESWERDA / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN


Posted on May 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

AUSTIN -- Eighty years ago a legend was born. The tiny town of Abbott had no idea the fame that would follow.

Now eight decades later, the fame has not faded. This was evident by the video birthday wishes flooding in from superstars worldwide. Willie Nelson is 80 years old.  

Willie's Sunday birthday concert at The Backyard proved that the beloved musician is not slowing down.

In addition to celebrating, Willie used the occasion to raise money for the town of West following the explosion that rocked the community. West is only six miles from Abbott.

More than 6,000 people packed into The Backyard to see Willie prove that age doesn't mean a thing.  It was a night that felt more like a revival where the already converted converged.

With more than 60 studio albums, Willie has crossed every line drawn around country music. From rock to reggae; politics to pot. The red-headed stranger says what he thinks and doesn’t look back.

“I like the way things are going. I have a positive attitude about the future," said Willie in a previous interview with KVUE's sister station WFAA.

It may be easier for Willie to look ahead when the Nelson future surrounds him every day. His son Lukas is often his opening act, and his right-hand man.

“Oh it’s great to have him, also Amy is up there, Paula some nights and Micah. To have all those kids up there…and they’re good too so that helps a lot. But you’re really proud of them,” Willie said.

And the Nelson clan is proud of their patriarch, gathering on stage to join the chorus around the world singing happy birthday; proof the number 80 is a big deal to everyone. 

“Fifteen years from now probably nobody will give a damn. Willie who?” Willie said. 

Everyone except Willie.