Willie Nelson recorded his very first song in 1956, and even though it wasn’t successful, he would one day become one of the most enduring legends in country music. After his first song failed, he went on to work as a radio announcer. He refused to let his dream die though, so he also started performing in clubs.
Nelson got his break in 1960 and the rest, as we well know, is history. He now has a renowned career and is among the last remaining icons of country music.
He’s worked on about 30 projects, recorded more than 68 studio albums, ten live albums, 37 compilations and about 25 collaborations, and made a significant contribution to the development of the Outlaw Country movement.
As well as being an iconic artist, Nelson is a badass person. To celebrate this facet of the legend, we’ve made a list of 8 moments when he proved he’s a complete and total badass.
8. When He Demonstrated Just How Easily He Could Still Kick Our Butts At The Ripe Old Age Of 81
Long ago, Nelson’s son, Lukas, shared a video clip of his 81-year-old pops pounding a speed bag and being the badass he is.
At almost any age, that’s considered a talent, but at 81?! Seriously, Willie?!
Many people probably don’t know this, but Nelson is a Tae Kwon Doe fanatic. Before his 81st birthday, he was given his 5th degree black belt.
Nelson has been mastering martial arts his entire life and even trains inside his tour bus!
7. That Moment When He And Merle Haggard Recorded The Hag’s Very Last Album
Recently, the world lost an icon and Nelson lost his “brother” when Merle Haggard died. Fortunately, they were able to create more memories together before this happened. They produced their duet album, Django and Jimmie, not too long before Haggard’s unfortunate death.
Django and Jimmie listed songs about their dear friend Johnny Cash, their idols, Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, and a few extremely snappy, classic country songs.
See a behind the scenes video of the 18-months it took them to produce this musical work of art.