Willie Nelson Remains the Culture's Favorite Counterculture Hero

Categories: This Week


Nelson turned 80 this year, and is still as hardcore a road warrior as ever. In October 2013, his album To All the Girls entered Billboard's Top Country Albums at number nine, marking his highest position on the chart since the release of 1982's Always on my Mind. It features duets with 18 of his favorite female singers, from Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to Carrie Underwood and Norah Jones.

He's also only increasing his role in activism: most recently, Nelson cancelled his planned performance at SeaWorld in Florida, citing the recent documentary "Blackfish," which raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales, as the reason.

Willie Nelson could never have known back in the '50s, when he was making just $50 a week as a songwriter for hire, that five decades later he would be touring to millions in his own patented Bio-Willie biodiesel-powered bus. It seems that no matter what road he takes, there are plenty of people willing to buy his memories.

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