Stars came out to celebrate the life and career of Willie Nelson at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for “Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw”.
Dozens of guest performers — from old friends like Kris Kristofferson and Emmylou Harris, to fresher upstarts like the Avett Brothers and Margo Price — came together at the end of the roughly four-hour commemoration to follow Nelson in a closing medley of “On the Road Again” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
Hawaii-born Jack Johnson was on hand to perform his song “Willie Got Me Stoned”. He tells Billboard, “I think everybody in America grew up with Willie Nelson to some degree… I had a chance to jam with Willie at his house one island over from me. Willie is empathetic to the mixture of cultures that come together to create music in Hawaii, and I think that respect to a melting pot of influences has been felt throughout his career.”
Five performances were highlights of a night that was recorded and is slated to be aired as a major broadcast special on A&E Network in 2019.