Thursday, June 8, 2023

Willie Nelson celebrates his 90th birthday at the Hollywood Bowl

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – “Are there any more real cowboys?” Neil Young sang at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night at a special evening in which he was neither the headliner nor the oldest performer, even at 77.

Responding immediately, Willie Nelson, wearing a cowboy hat and red, white and blue guitar strap, slowly walked onstage to celebrate his 90th birthday, bringing the crowd of more than 17,000 to his feet.

Nelson sat in a chair, one of the few on-stage concessions he had made for the ages, and the rest of the 1985 duet “Are There Any More Real Cowboys?”

Nelson said, “I want to thank all the artists who came out tonight and helped celebrate whatever we’re celebrating.”

“When I was a kid in Texas, it seemed like there was nothing bigger than Willie Nelson,” said Owen Wilson, one of the evening’s presenters alongside Helen Mirren, Ethan Hawke and Jennifer Garner. “And looking back at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, it seems nothing is bigger than Willie Nelson.”

Following Young, Nelson brought in George Strait, a next-generation country superstar, for his self-referential duet “Sing One with Willie”, followed by Strait for Willie’s perennial “Pancho and Lefty”. . He once played Merle Haggard.

Nelson then yelled, “Come on out and do a roll with me, Snoop!”

Rapper Snoop Dogg strutted while sitting next to Nelson as he sang his stoner anthem, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” Perhaps fittingly, each seemed to forget the words at times. Both friends seemed too happy to care.

Buddy Parade illustrated one of the themes of the evening: Willie brings people together.

The crowd, ranging from small children to senior citizens, made this point clear. The bleachers were dotted with cowboy hats as hippies danced in the aisles and weed smoke billowed in the air.

World Nation News Desk
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