Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas, and, along with his older sister Bobbie, was raised largely by his grandparents. Nelson’s grandfather introduced him to the guitar, and Nelson and his sister began performing all over Texas while they were still children. Following his graduation from high school, Nelson briefly joined the U.S. Air Force before enrolling in Baylor University to study agriculture, though he ultimately dropped out to pursue his music career. The future country icon got his start by working as a disc jockey and released his first album, 'No Place for Me', in 1936. As of 2020, Nelson has released more than 160 albums and earned over 25 No. 1 singles, including “On the Road Again,” “Blue Skies” and “Always on My Mind.” In addition to writing most of his own songs, Nelson has also penned hits for other artists, including Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and “Funny How Time Slips Away” by Billy Walker, among others. Nelson has enjoyed a successful career as an actor as well, appearing in films such as 'The Electric Horseman', 'The Dukes of Hazzard' and 'Blonde Ambition'. He is also an outspoken advocate for the legalization of marijuana and has been arrested numerous times for possession of the drug. In 1990, Nelson’s assets were seized by the IRS, due to millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Three years later, the artist paid the debt in full, thanks in part to the release of his double-album, 'The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?', and his decision to sell many of his possessions. In recent years, Nelson has canceled or cut short a handful of concerts due to health issues; however, he continues to play shows and release albums, including 2020's 'First Rose of Spring.' Nelson has seven children, including singer-songwriter Lukas Nelson, and lives in Maui, Hawaii.
Country Music Memories: First Farm Aid Held in Champaign, Ill.
On Sept. 22, 1985, the very first Farm Aid was held in Champaign, Ill.
Country Music Memories: Willie Nelson Busted for Drug Possession
On Sept. 18, 2006, Nelson was arrested for possession of marijuana and narcotic mushrooms.
Willie Nelson + Annie D'Angelo -- Country's Greatest Love Stories
Nelson has been married four times, but he's got a sharp sense of humor about all of his nuptials. While it's taken the country legend several tries, it seems that his fourth and current wife, Ann Marie (Annie) D'Angelo, is here to stay.
Going Greek: Country Stars Who Pledged Fraternities and Sororities
Did you know these country stars are former fraternity and sorority members?
Country Music Memories: 'Heartbreak Hotel' Remake Hits No. 1
On Sept. 1, 1979, Nelson and Russell hit the No. 1 spot with their remake of the Elvis Presley hit "Heartbreak Hotel."
Hear Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson's New Collab., 'Juanita'
"Juanita" is featured on Simpson's new concept album, 'The Ballad of Dood and Juanita'.
Country Music Memories: 'Stardust' Spends 10 Years on the Charts
On Aug. 13, 1988, Nelson set a new record in country music.
Willie Nelson + More Stars Join Asleep at the Wheel on New Album
Asleep at the Wheel are enlisting some big-name guest vocalists on 'Half a Hundred Years,' an album celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band.