Willie Nelson Nearly Died From COVID Earlier This Year: “I Wasn’t Sure He Was Going To Make It”

Willie Nelson country music

When the pandemic first broke out, priority number one was…

Protect Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton at all costs.

The Bubble Boy memes were flowing…

But in all seriousness, COVID tragically took a number of great country music legends from us… John Prine, Joe Diffie, Charley Pride, and more. It was heartbreaking to see these country legends passing away.

And according to a new profile in New York Times Magazine, Willie did have a close call this past May that never made the news.

Willie’s wife Annie says they set up a makeshift hospital at home, and threw the kitchen sink at it:

“I had a nebulizer on the bus. I started everything I could at that point, including Paxlovid. He had the monoclonal antibodies. He had steroids.

We turned the house into a hospital. There were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure he was going to make it.”

Willie adds:

“I had a pretty rough time with it. COVID ain’t nothing to laugh at, that’s for sure.”

And while a lifetime of smoking has put quite a strain on Willie’s lungs over the years, he was recovered in six days and back to playing shows two weeks later.

The time at home felt like a prison sentence of the road warrior who admits he would sit in his tour bus sometimes, just to feel like he was going somewhere:

“Every day it was more and more like a prison sentence.”

But according to Annie, Willie isn’t ready to retire anytime soon… and maybe, not ever.

“At the end of every tour, Will talks about retiring. But then we’ll have a conversation: ‘Well, what would you do if you retired?’

We both know the answer: Just lay down and die. It’s impossible to imagine him not being out there.”

Willie will be back on the road come September, touring on his Outlaw Music Festival Tour, however, if nothing else, this serves as a sobering reminder that a country music like Willie Nelson won’t be around forever… go see him as soon as you can.

I had the chance earlier this month to see Willie here in Chicago (along with Turnpike, Zach Bryan, and Morgan Wade… what a lineup), but unfortunately I couldn’t make it.

I won’t make the same mistake twice.

Might be about time for a “Still Not Dead” Part 2…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock