Willie Nelson (born 30.4.1933)
Willie Nelson is an American country singer who initially rose to fame in the 1970s but has maintained a career for around 40 years and is considered an icon of American music.
Willie Nelson: Net Worth
In 2012, Celebrity Net Worth claimed that Willie Nelson had a net worth of 25 million USD.
Willie Nelson: Childhood
Born in Texas, Willie Nelson was the son of Myrle and Ira Nelson. Ira Nelson was a mechanic and also owned a pool hall. Willie began playing the guitar when he was six years old and wrote his first song at the age of nine.
Whilst he was at high school, Nelson met Bud Fletcher and joined his band, Bohemian Fiddlers. During that time, he also worked as a DJ for a number of local radio stations.
Willie Nelson was briefly a member of the Air Force and studied agriculture at Baylor University for one year. Nelson moved to Washington in 1956 and recorded a version of the Leon Payne song, 'Lumberjack' and sold the song 'Family Bible' for $50 to Claude Gray, for whom it was a huge hit.
Willie Nelson: Musical Career
In 1960, Willie Nelson moved to Nashville. He struggled to obtain a record label contract, although he signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music. His song 'Night Life' was covered by Ray Price, as well as by Charles Manson and is reportedly the most covered country song of all time.
Nelson joined Price's band, Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys and wrote a number of their hits, including 'Pretty Paper', which was later covered by Roy Orbison.
In 1965, Willie Nelson signed a contract with RCA Victor Records, home of Elvis Presley and joined the Grand Ole Opry. He started to play his own music, which has influences from country, jazz and folk music.
In the early 1970s, Nelson signed to Atlantic records. In 1973, he released Shotgun Willie. The album was a critical, if not a commercial, success. 1974's Phases and Stages contained songs about his recent divorce, including the track 'Bloody Mary Mornings'.
His next label move was to Columbia Records. Columbia ensured that Willie Nelson had complete creative control over his music and his first album for them was Red Headed Stranger, released in 1975. His cover of Fred Rose's 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain' was Nelson's first number one record. In 1976, he recorded an album with Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Colter, named Wanted! The Outlaws.
1978 was a successful year for Nelson. He released two albums, Waylon and Willie and Stardust. Both albums were later awarded platinum selling status, with the latter being produced by Booker T. Jones.
In the 1980s, Willie Nelson formed a country supergroup with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. They named the group The Highwaymen.
In 1985, Nelson founded the Farm Aid charity concerts. Five years later, the IRS seized most of Willie Nelson assets, in order to pay $16.7 million in backdated tax payments. In order to help pay the charges, he released an album entitled The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories? All of the money raised from sales of the album went directly to the IRS.
In 1993, Willie Nelson recorded the album Across the Borderline. Amongst the featured guests on the album were Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Simon.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Willie Nelson continued to make critically revered albums such as Tetra, which featured vocals from Emmylou Harris. In 2004, Nelson released Outlaws and Angles, which featured guests such as Carole King, Kid Rock and Al Green.
In 2014, Nelson released the album Band of Brothers. It received good reviews and reached number one on Billboards Top Country Albums, as well as number five on the Billboard 200.
Willie Nelson has appeared in a number of films, the first being 1979's The Electric Horseman. Other highlights of his movie career include starring in Songwriter with Kris Kristofferson in 1984 and Stagecoach in 1986, alongside Johnny Cash. In 2006, he Nelson also appeared in the remake of Dukes of Hazzard.
Willie Nelson has also made a large number of cameo appearances in high profile TV shows and films, including The Simpsons, Miami Vice, Dr. Quinn, and Medicine Woman.
Willie Nelson: Personal Life
Nelson is a staunch campaigner for the legalization of marijuana.
He has been married four times and has eight children.
Biography by Contactmusic.com
'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' is Number 1 in the UK and the States at the same time, only the ninth album this decade to do so.
Florence Welch may be recovering from a broken foot, but she’s got even more good news to make her feel better, as the third Florence + The Machine album has entered the American charts at Number One, her first record to reach the summit in the States.
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful sold 137,000 copies in its first week on sale to debut at the top spot in the Billboard 200 albums chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As a result, Florence is one of the few artists who have managed to top the American and British albums charts at the same time – the ninth act to do so in the 2010s and the first since Ed Sheeran’s X last year.
Florence Welch is celebrating being Number 1 in the US and the UK at the same time
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'Willie Weed' will be sold by Nelson's new company 'Willie's Reserve', but only in the handful of American states that allow recreational use of the drug.
Country music legend Willie Nelson has announced more details of his plans to roll out his own brand of marijuana. ‘Willie’s Reserve’, a company formed by Nelson, will sell ‘Willie Weed’ which he intends to be “the best on the market”.
The move makes him one of the few stars to join in the increasing movement to commercialise marijuana, which is legal for medical and recreational use in a handful of American states. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine ahead of Monday’s announcement, the 81 year old singer fleshed out some of his plans.
Willie Nelson at the Grammy Awards in 2015
The 81 year old is well known for his marijuana passion.
Weed enthusiast and country music legend Willie Nelson is planning to launch his own brand of marijuana, as well as a chain of stores across the US in states where pot is legal. The 81 year old’s plans were first announced during his appearance at last week’s South by Southwest festival, but have since been confirmed by the brand’s spokesperson, Michael Bowman, in an interview with the Daily Beast.
Willie Nelson is turing his love of pot into a business
The brand will reportedly be named ‘Willie’s Reserve’ and will be accompanied by a chain of marijuana stores, which are expect to roll out in 2016, in the states where the drug has become legal.
The ‘Peaches and Cream’ rapper delivered the festival’s keynote speech on Friday morning.
Rapper Snoop Dogg has announced he’s developing a new drama series for HBO, alongside director Allen Hughes and writer Rodney Barnes. The 43 year old made the announcement as he delivered the keynote address at this year’s South by Southwest festival on Friday morning.
Snoop Dogg is developing a drama series for HBO
According to Deadline, Snoop said the drama would be set in in early 1980s Los Angeles and centers on ‘a family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics.’
Christmas is a time for family, although there are those who would argue it is an over-commercialised capitalist holiday. One of these people is Michael Walker (Harry Connick, Jr.) who cannot stand Christmas. When their rent runs out, they are forced to find a new house. Michael stumbles across the perfect family home, with the owner intent on selling the house to a family - as long as they uphold the long-running neighbourhood tradition of putting on a tremendous and bombastic Christmas light display. Michael is faced to live up to the tradition and learn to love Christmas again, all so that he can help his family and bring love and light to the world.
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For his lively film directing debut, Mike Myers (aka Austin Powers) traces the remarkable life of his friend, the almost too-likeable music manager Shep Gordon. A mensch is a really nice guy, and this film documents how Gordon has created a makeshift family of loyal friends around him, even though he's never had a proper family of his own. It's an engaging movie that reminds audiences that the most important thing in life is certainly not fame.
Shep Gordon came to Los Angeles as a young man and happened to stay in the same hotel where Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison were hanging out. Quickly getting involved in their blurry world of drugs and money, Shep won over everyone he met simply because of his integrity and generosity. As a manager, he lived the high-life with high-powered girlfriends like Sharon Stone (who introduced him to Buddhism) and a Playboy Playmate wife. He helped Groucho Marx sort out his finances, and worked with lifelong pal Alice Cooper to create Cooper's iconic on-stage persona. And he's still considered one of the best fix-it men in the business. His home in Maui is a bolt-hole for any of his celebrity buddies who are trying to escape the limelight.
The film is assembled with a snappy rhythm that catches a sense of Shep's fast-paced lifestyle. It's packed with great film clips, hilarious home movies and even a few re-enactments. But the best stories are told by the starry interviewees who clearly adore Shep and recount riotous backstage anecdotes about their experiences with him, as well as his larger-than-life personality and unstoppable libido. The most jaw-dropping story is about how he ramped up clean-cut Canadian singer Anne Murray's reputation and career by having her photographed with super-cool lothario Teddy Pendergrass. But with a life this high-flying, Shep has never found a life partner or had his own children. Although he has become a father figure to his ex-wife's kids, essentially raising them himself.
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Shep Gordon may not be as famous as some of the biggest celebrities in the world, but you can bet they count him among their closest friends. A popular Jewish music manager who took on the career after meeting Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Shep's first subject was shock rocker Alice Cooper in 1965. Since then, his Hollywood career has exploded having also worked alongside the likes of Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Blondie, Ann Murray and others. Not only that, but Shep instigated the breakthrough of celebrity chefs and also become close personal friends with the 14th Dalai Lama during his venture into Buddhism. Now, though, after a life of luxury and living other people's lives, this 'mensch' as his star friends call him (a Yiddish word essentially meaning 'a good person') is looking for a life of his own.
And all at the grand old age of 81
Willie Nelson’s remarkable life notched up another typically astounding anecdote recently as the country music legend picked up his fifth degree and a black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul, and all in celebration of his eight decades and one year on the planet.
Willie Nelson at the 11th Annual John Varvatos Stuart House Benefit
“Honestly, I was surprised to be getting this degree,” Nelson said on his bus before the ceremony. “I don’t know what else is out there. I never thought about anything beyond second-degree black belt.”
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