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Texas music legend Willie Nelson turns 87 today

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Willie Nelson performs in Nashville, Tenn. Nelson may have given up smoking, but he hasn't stopped using marijuana. While in San Antonio last week for two performances, the 86-year-old country music legend told KSAT TV that in an effort to take better care of himself, he no longer smokes. His spokeswoman, Elaine Shock, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, that Nelson hasn't given up cannabis, and she points out there are different ways to consume it. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — He’s a Texas icon on par with the Dallas Cowboys and Lone Star Beer and today he celebrates his birthday.

In a perfect world Willie Nelson, who known for his marijuana use nearly as much as his music would have been born on 4/20. Instead, the man known as the Red Headed Stranger was born on 4/29  in 1933 in Abbott, Texas.

After a short stint in the Air Force and a couple of years at Baylor University and some time as a disc jockey, Nelson, who had been performing since he was 10, made his way to Nashville in 1960.

He rolled up a number of hits for other singers including “Crazy” for Patsy Cline, “Night Life” for Ray Price and “Hello Walls” for Faron Young. While his songwriting was in high demand, it wasn’t until the 1970’s when Willie, along with fellow Texan Waylon Jennings kicked off what was called the “Outlaw” movement in country music with a series of shows in Austin.

Several million selling albums and hit singles followed.

Nelson also branched off into acting appearing in the films “The Electric Horseman”, “Honeysuckle Rose” and many others.

He continued to score hits throughout the 1980’s and into the 90’s.  Nelson continued to tour regularly until recently when an illness and the COVID-19 pandemic kept his off the road. He vows to get back on the bus as soon as he can.

He released his 70th album called “First Rose of Spring” last week.

Willie Nelson is 87 today.

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