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.
Willie Nelson's 89th Birthday Celebration Just Got Even Bigger
Additional artists have been added to the special celebration, which wil feature performances from Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and Vincent Neil Emerson.
Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion Makes a Triumphant Return
After two years of postponements, Willie Nelson welcomed fans back to his Texas ranch.
Willie Nelson Announces 2022 Outlaw Music Festival Tour
Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Brittney Spencer are among the artists joining Nelson this summer.
Willie Nelson: See the Red-Headed Stranger Through the Years
Nelson's trademark braids make him one of the most instantly recognizable celebrities in the world -- but he looked a little (okay, a lot) different in his early years.
Every ACM Awards Album of the Year Award Winner Ever
All 50-plus of 'em.
Country Music Memories: The Highwaymen Begin Tour in Houston
On March 3, 1990, the country supergroup kicked off their concert tour at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.