Happy Birthday, Willie Nelson

American Icon Turns 82 and Isn't About to Slow Down

The unmistakable twang, those braids, that cheeky yet endearing grin, the bandana and, of course, the songs. Is there anything more timeless or iconic than music legend Willie Nelson?

I don’t think so.

Nelson is once again taking two days this week to celebrate his 82nd birthday, and he’s still cooler than you and I will ever be. As for the two-day birthday party, it’s been that way for many years.

When he joined the Air Force and received his birth certificate, the date was listed as April 30, 1933. However, his sister Bobbie Nelson and other family members are sure he was born shortly before midnight on April 29.

Nelson has long been one of the hardest working folks on the planet and still shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

On Tuesday (May 5), It’s a Long Story: My Life, the memoir he wrote with David Ritz, arrives in bookstores. The following month, Nelson and Merle Haggard are releasing a duets album, Django and Jimmie, named for the title song about two of their primary musical influences — Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmie Rodgers and gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

And, of course, he’s even behind Willie’s Reserve, a new cannabis brand which — according to Nelson’s website — reflects his “longstanding experience and his commitment to regulated, natural and high quality strains of marijuana in U.S. legal markets.”

Behold the empire that is Willie. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his storied past, his remarkable present and his incredibly ambitious future.

He’s more than just a man. He’s more than just music. He’s a cultural institution.

Happy birthday to a true legend.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.