The ceremony happened a couple months ago, but last night, the special aired on ABC, which featured Willie’s induction alongside Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott and more at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Dave Matthews said in part during his speech for Willie that:
“It’s people like Willie Nelson who give me hope for the world.”
Amen to that…
And when it was his turn, Willie sweetly thanked his wife, Annie, for “keeping me out here, doing what I’m meant to do.”
He also thanked fans, saying simply:
“Thanks for appreciating my music.”
And in an all-star collaboration during the show, the red headed stranger teamed up with Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow, along with his son Lukas on guitar, to perform a rousing rendition of his hit “On the Road Again.”
The tune was released in 1980 as part of the Honeysuckle Rose film soundtrack, ultimately becoming Willie’s ninth #1 single when it peaked at the top spot of the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs later that year.
Once again, it’s incredible the way his lasting legacy continues to live on and grow, and moreover, at 90 years old (he’ll be 91 in April), that Willie is still around to see it all.
Long live the red headed stranger, y’all, and here’s to 90 more years of his hall of fame career:
His performance of “Whiskey River” with Stapleton is still my favorite, though: