At the age of 90, Willie Nelson, the legendary musician, has witnessed a lifetime of experiences and can truly be called a man who has seen it all. Throughout his eventful life, there has been one constant presence that continues to fill him with joy: his wife of 31 years, Annie D’Angelo. Nelson fondly refers to her as his “pet rattler,” playfully acknowledging her role as his lover, wife, nurse, doctor, and bodyguard.
Last month, Nelson celebrated his 90th birthday with a remarkable two-day concert in Los Angeles titled “Willie Nelson 90.” The event featured outstanding performances by renowned artists such as Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, George Strait, and Miranda Lambert. Adding to the family affair, Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, born to D’Angelo, also graced the stage. Lukas described his mother, Willie’s fourth wife, as an exceptional individual, highlighting her brilliance, strength, integrity, and fiery nature. He emphasized how well she takes care of his father, keeping him healthy and enabling him to continue pursuing his passion for music. Nelson wholeheartedly appreciates and respects her for that.
Although Nelson’s hearing may not be as sharp as it once was, he remains content and attributes his happiness to his family. He has plans to embark on a tour that will extend through the fall, culminating in his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November. Reflecting on his touring habits, Nelson humorously shared how he constantly considers retiring but finds himself ready to hit the road again just two days later. Quoting a song by Billy Joe Shaver, he finds solace in the idea that “moving is the closest thing to being free” and thoroughly enjoys traveling the highways.
Despite acknowledging that he is slowing down, Nelson, known for his multifaceted talents as a singer, songwriter, musician, political activist, and actor, remains proud of his accomplishments. Rather than dispensing excessive advice, he prefers to serve as a living example for his children, believing that actions speak louder than words. By witnessing his strong work ethic on a daily basis, he hopes to instill in them the notion that he knows what he is doing.
Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents in Abbott, Texas, Nelson wrote his first song at the age of 7 and joined his first band at 10. With a career spanning over six decades, he has amassed an impressive discography of 73 solo studio albums, in addition to three albums with his Highwaymen bandmates Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. Nelson’s extensive experience and wisdom make his words worth listening to.
As a longtime cannabis enthusiast, Nelson has made the decision to no longer smoke or drink, a change that surely brings happiness to his wife and loved ones.