Willie Nelson might have been entertaining audiences for the better part of sixty years, but he has absolutely no plans to slow down.
The iconic singer-songwriter is set to turn 90 years old later this month, and yet he continues to work every bit as hard as he always has, producing great music and making sure his legions of fans have every opportunity to see him playing live.
In fact, Nelson, who signed his first major recording contract with Liberty Records back in 1962, will be celebrating his upcoming milestone birthday while on tour. The star discussed the prospect in a recent interview with AARP, stating that while work wasn’t necessary for him, it was good for him.
“Working is really good for me, no matter what kind of show it is,” he said.
“The fact that I’ll be there for two days with a lot of my good friends coming out…saying hello and singing with me makes it a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Now, while the phenomenon of high-profile entertainers continuing to perform well past the age of retirement isn’t anything wildly new – the likes of Dick Van Dyke (97), Michael Caine (89) and David Attenborough (96) are proof of that – it must be said that there is a difference between appearing in film or TV roles, or lending your voice to a project, and performing live music on a multi-show tour.
Yet Nelson continues to book dates and deliver incredible shows. Not bad for a man who’s quickly closing in on his ninth decade on Earth!
As for the prospect of turning 90, the country music singer said:
“Norman Lear, a good friend of mine, turned 100 not long ago, and I told him, ‘I’ve been telling everybody it’s just a number,” the singer told AARP. “Am I right?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it’s just a number.’”
The Texas-born star also said that he’s always ready to get back on the tour bus and go and play new venues.
“Jokingly, I retire after every tour,” Willie said. “But I’m always ready to go back again. I like the bus. I have everything I need on the bus. I never have to go into a hotel room anywhere. It’s not that bad.”
It might not be bad, but even so, I think it’s remarkable that Willie Nelson still has the energy to get up on stage and play for so many people under so much pressure!
And his voice?! If I sound half as good as he does when I’m that age – providing I live that long in the first place – I’ll be a happy man indeed.
Given that he’s spent so many years singing, it’s a wonder Nelson can still croon like he always could.
“I think singing is good for my voice,” he even said in a recent interview.
“I don’t do anything to harm it much anymore. If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
I for one want to wish Willie Nelson a very happy 90th birthday and many, many happy returns.
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