Willie Nelson is an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer, author, and activist who is most well-recognized by his works and achievements in the music industry. The worldwide success of his albums Shotgun Willie (1973), Stranger (1975), and Stardust (1978) placed Nelson’s name on top of the most respected and highly-reputable artists in country music. Apart from his reigning career as a musician, Nelson is also an actor who has made notable appearances in numerous films. Outside music and acting, he has also co-authored numerous books and got himself involved in activism to push the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana. Before fame, he had first signed a contract with D Records and performed at the Esquire Ballroom weekly during which he also worked as a disk jockey. At the time, Nelson wrote some of his first few songs that also became chart-toppers. He wrote the songs Funny How Time Slips Away, Pretty Paper, Crazy, and Hello Walls. In 1972, Nelson retired and moved to Austin, Texas, but it turned out to be just a short hiatus from the limelight as he decided to return from retirement and started performing more often at the Armadillo World Headquarters.
A year after, he was drawn into the outlaw country music style and started to release albums of the likes. In 1975, Nelson signed with Columbia Records and recorded one of his most successful albums Red Headed Stranger. Another album which had been released the same year his Red Headed Stranger album dominated the music charts was Wanted! The Outlaws. Following the frequent success of his albums, Nelson also began to record mega-popular singles including On the Road Again, Pancho and Lefty, and To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, which immediately made its rounds worldwide. During the 1990s and 2000s, he remained active on his tours and events and had consistently released an album every year. In his later years, he started exploring other styles such as blues, folks, reggae, and jazz. After debuting as an actor in 1979 for the film The Electric Horseman, he also started landing on more roles both on television and in movies.
He went to Abbott High School where he actively participated in sports. He was a halfback in a football team, a guard in a basketball team, and a shortstop in baseball. After graduating from high school in 1950, Nelson returned from the U.S Air Force and attended Baylor University for 2 years, but later dropped out to pursue a career in music.
Country, Outlaw Country, Blues, Jazz
- Liberty Records
- RCA Records
- Columbia Records
- Island Records
- Justice Records
- Lost Highway
- Legacy Recordings
Girlfriend / Spouse
Willie Nelson has dated –
- Martha Matthews (1952-1962) – Willie Nelson married his first wife Martha Matthews in 1952 and they have 3 children together named Lana, Susie, and Willie who committed suicide in 1991. Before their separation in 1962, the marriage was reportedly marked with violence with Matthews allegedly assaulting her husband several times including one incident where Nelson was sewed up in bedsheets and got beaten by a broomstick.
- Shirley Collie (1963-1971) – He married his 2nd wife Shirley Collie in 1963 but their marriage only lasted for 8 years. The former beaus got officially divorced in 1971 and the cause of their split was due to a bill from the maternity ward being found by Collie herself, which turned out to be the birth of Nelson’s other daughter, Paula Carlene Nelson (b. October 27, 1969).
- Connie Koepke (1971-1988) – Shortly after his divorce with Collie, Nelson was again married for the 3rd time to Connie Koepke the same year he separated from his ex-wife. They have one daughter together named Amy Lee Nelson. Following 17 years of marriage, the former couple divorced in 1988 but the real cause of the breakup wasn’t known.
- Annie D’Angelo (1991-Present) – Nelson got married again in 1991 to his 4th wife Annie D’Angelo and they have 2 sons together, namely Lukas Autry and Jacob Micah.
- Thin Lips
- Hawk Nose Type
- Long Jawline
- Hooded Eyes
Willie Nelson had previously done a commercial for Gap Jeans. On the side note, he has been promoting his own CBD brand Willie’s Reserve, which generally sells and markets a wide variety of products made of cannabis. Categories available on Willie’s Reserve website include edibles, flowers, vape products, and accessories.
Best Known For
- His successful reign in the music industry through his array of albums and singles including some of his chart-topping albums in early 1970s such as Shotgun Willie (1973), Red Headed Stranger (1975), and Stardust (19178)
- Becoming one of the most highly-respected figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that began to make rounds in the late 1960s
- His notable works as an actor, author, and his involvement in activism relevant to the niches about the use of biofuels and marijuana legalization
In 1962, Willie Nelson released his debut album …And Then I Wrote under Liberty Records.
In 1979, he made his theatrical film debut as Wendell in the romantic-drama movie The Electric Horseman wherein he acted alongside actors , , and Valerie Perrine.
First TV Show
In 1968, Nelson made his first TV show appearance as ‘Himself’ on The Rosey Grier Show.
Willie Nelson shared a handful of details about his diet and what specific food he usually eats. In an interview, the singer revealed that his regular day-to-day meal would typically consist of just oatmeal for breakfast and and bacon for dinner. Looking at his physique, it seems as though the singer really never settle for less when it comes to his health and keeping himself in shape, especially within his age bracket where health often gets a bit shaky. Obviously, Nelson keeps it simple when it comes to the food he eats. But, he takes sports and fitness pretty seriously.
Aside from being an iconic singer and multitalented artist, not that everyone knows but Nelson is also an ultimate sports enthusiast who has a lot of sports interest in his checklist. He’s also a gym rat who often tends to visit the gym to workout.
A report made by the Chicago Tribune revealed that the singer “couldn’t keep up his touring pace if he didn’t exercise,” adding that keeping himself in a good shape is one way to motivate him to do what he’s supposed to do. Moreover, he also admitted that exercising is one way for him to relieve stress, adding that he always does what he feels like doing when it comes to exercising. Nelson told Chicago that if he doesn’t feel like , he’d do kicks, and he likes to make each day different.
Away from the limelight, he usually spends his free time doing what he loves such as playing golf, practicing his martial arts, and jogging. In addition to his overall routine outside work, he plays taekwondo and teaches Kung Fu, which proves to show that he’s pretty drawn into the hardcore type of physical sports.
Willie Nelson Favorite Things
- Food – Chicken Fried Stick, Biscuits, Gravy
- Guitar Player – Django Reinhardt
- Singer –
Source – ,
Willie Nelson Facts
- He’s a black belt holder in Kung Fu.
- He played basketball, baseball, football, and ran track during his high school years.
- Willie wrote his first song at the age of 7 and joined his first band at the age of 10.
- Nelson used to be a Bible salesman.
- He was raised by his paternal grandparents William Alfred Nelson and Nancy Elizabeth Smothers.
- His company Willie Nelson Biodiesel generally markets biodiesel bio-fuel to truck stops.
- Though he owns a selection of about 15 guitars, Nelson has been playing the same guitar named Trigger for more than 50 years.
- He owns a ranch named Luck, Texas, situated in Spicewood, Texas, United States.
- After his lungs collapsed in 1981 and suffered from pneumonia countless times, he decided to quit tobacco and opted to smoke marijuana with a carbon-free system to avoid the effects of smoke.
- In 2014, the Tae Kwon Do Times magazine revealed that Nelson had developed an unorthodox manner of training during the lengthy periods of time he was on tour.
- During the 1990s, Nelson started to practice the Korean martial art GongKwon Yusul.
- In 1993, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 1998, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.
- Rolling Stone has inducted Willie Nelson as part of its “100 Greatest Singers” and “100 Greatest Guitarists” lists.
- In 2014, he donated his personal collection to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, which mainly included items such as photographs, correspondence, song manuscripts, posters, certificate records, awards, signed books, screenplays, personal items, personal gifts, and tributes from Nelson’s fans.
- Florida Coach started customizing Nelson’s tour buses in 1979.
- Nelson performed at the 1994 wedding reception of Microsoft’s and Melinda Gates in Lanai, Hawaii.
- His eco-friendly tour bus is called the “Honeysuckle Rose IV” and runs on a variety of biofuels.
- Visit his official website @ willienelson.com.
- Connect with Willie Nelson on , , and .
Featured Image by Bob Tilden / / CC BY 2.0
Facts of Willie Hugh Nelson
- Gender Male
- full nameWillie Hugh Nelson
- middle nameHugh
- nicknamesRed Headed Stranger, The Ambassador to Weedville, Shotgun Willie
- birthplaceAbbott, Texas, United States
- Date of Birth April 29, 1933
- Age 90 years 10 months
- Horoscope Taurus
- Lucky Number 4
- Lucky Stone Emerald
- Lucky Color Green
- Best Match for Marriage Virgo, Cancer, Capricorn
- ethnicity / ethnic backgroundEnglish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and Irish
- net worth$25 million
- professionSinger, Songwriter, Actor, Producer, Author
- weight73 kg or 161 lbs
- height5 ft 6 in or 167.5 cm
- hair colorSalt and Pepper
- eye colorDark Brown
- body type / buildAverage
- collegeBaylor University
- motherMyrle Marie Greenhaw
- fatherIra Doyle Nelson
- sistersBobbie Nelson
- favorite foodChicken Fried Stick, Biscuits, Gravy