Kacey Musgraves: Willie Nelson ‘Has This Really Unique Ability to Unite’
On Wednesday night (Feb. 6), Willie Nelson was honored by the Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing, receiving recognition for his career achievements during a ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif., ahead of the 2019 Grammy Awards. In addition to musical performances, the evening included a speech from Kacey Musgraves, who reflected on the country icon's legacy, longevity and ability to unite so many different people.
"Really, what can you say about Willie Nelson that hasn't already been said? I mean, he's just been at this so long. He's done it all; he's seen it all," Musgraves told the crowd. "But I will say that, one of my favorite things that I've noticed about him ... is, he has this really unique ability to unite ... It’s really kind of unlike any other artist I can think of: Underdogs, outliers, Republicans, rappers, presidents — everyone loves Willie!"
Indeed, Nelson's career has touched the lives of so many, both as fans and as collaborators. In addition to his music career, Nelson has also starred in movies, and he's been outspoken about, among other social issues, gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana.
"He's just a huge part of American culture," added Musgraves. "I mean, little kids are still dressing up like him for Halloween …"
Of course, none of Nelson's other achievements would have come if not for his music: "His songs, they're so iconic, they're so classic," Musgraves noted. "They’re never gonna die ...
"And let’s get real — he’s probably not either," she added, to laughs from the crowd. "He’s going to outlive us all.”
Nelson's honor from the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing also featured performances from Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah, along with Lukas Nelson's band Promise of the Real and Dave Matthews. Willie Nelson joined them onstage for a performance of his songs "Living in the Promiseland" and "On the Road Again."
“I want to thank the producers and engineers over the years for making me sound as good as I could,” Nelson said (quote via Yahoo!), adding jokingly, “And I’m glad they liked me, because they really could have screwed me up!"
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