The induction of 90-year-old country legend Willie Nelson concluded with a rendition of “ On the Road Again » with Sheryl Crow.
Willie Nelson is now officially a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But don’t ask him what he has to do with rock & roll. “ It’s been a long road from my first DJ job to ending up here with all of youhe said during his acceptance speech. As a DJ, I played early Elvis songs. I remember the critics calling it “rockabilly” rather than rock & roll, and I never paid attention to the categories, and I’m not sure the fans did either. »
The 90-year-old country music legend was inducted into the Rock Hall during the ceremony held Friday evening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Of course, the ever-touring artist also performed. He joined Chris Stapleton to perform ” Whiskey River », the Johnny Bush song that he has used to launch his concerts since time immemorial. The two musicians sat side by side on stage, looking into each other’s eyes as they sang. He also teamed up with Sheryl Crow for a version of ” Crazy ”, the 1961 ballad that Nelson wrote and that Patsy Cline made her own.
Then, almost immediately, the drums resumed and Nelson, Stapleton, Crow and Dave Matthews, who opened the musical moment with a solo version of “ Funny How Time Slips Away » and officially inducted Nelson, concluded the tribute by all singing Willie’s anthem ” On the Road Again “.
During his speech, Matthews recalled that a reporter once asked Nelson when he would retire, to which Nelson responded, ” Well, I play golf and I play music. Which one do you want me to give up? “. He also joked that Nelson liked to smoke weed, noting that Snoop Dogg once claimed that Nelson was the only person who smoked more than him. He also praised Willie Nelson’s altruism, particularly his work with Farm Aid.
In his acceptance speech, the country legend explained that gender never mattered to him when he performed songs with Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles. “ We just sang the songs we loved.”, did he declare. He then looked to the present. “ I would like to thank my family group for accompanying me on this adventure”, he declared, referring to his sons, Micah and Lukas Nelson, who support him. “ Thank you for inviting me tonight and thank you for enjoying my music. »
Nelson has a long history with each of the artists who have saluted him. He and Stapleton toured together, and Stapleton sang two Willie songs at his 90th birthday celebration at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year. Nelson recorded the song ” Our Song » by Stapleton for his album First Rose of Spring, released in 2020. Matthews and Nelson have also shared the stage together; both men are members of the Farm Aid board of directors. But it was Crow who probably appeared on stage with Nelson the most often: she was a frequent collaborator with Willie at various tribute shows over the years.
Nelson’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes a year after Dolly Parton’s. Both were already members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and thus joined the few artists to be members of both Halls of Fame, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, Jimmie Rodgers, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley.