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Willie Nelson, West, Texas Benefit: Icon Hosting Concert for Explosion Victims

Todd Oren, Getty Images

Willie Nelson is helping his hometown in a time of tragedy.

Thursday (April 18), the singer tweeted that he will be raising funds to helps those affected by a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas this week.

“The previously scheduled concert on 4/28 at @thenewbackyard will now benefit West VFD. Details to come soon,” the post read. The performance was originally intended to celebrate the country icon’s upcoming 80th birthday.

Thirty to 40 people are missing and believed to be dead after Wednesday’s massive explosion, which destroyed the plant and damaged homes and buildings within a half-mile radius. The plant was in a highly-populated neighborhood … to which Willie has a personal connection.

“West is just a few miles from my hometown of Abbott,” he writes. “I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up. This is my community. These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life. My heart is praying for the community that we call home.”

Willie’s family plans to show their support at the benefit, as well.

“I’ll be there, and my son Lukas, my son Micah and daughters Paula and Amy,” the legend tells CMT. “We’ll all be there doing a benefit show now. Until today, it was set up as a birthday show. But since the West tragedy happened, we decided to start a benefit there and let other people join in. If they want to donate to the West Volunteer Fire Department, they can do so. That’s where our proceeds are going to go on that day.”

Watch a Video on Willie Nelson’s New Album

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