Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday Will Be One for the Ages
Not all of us will end up making it to 90. But we’re all the beneficiaries of the fact that Willie Nelson (almost) has. On April 29th, Willie will officially turn 90 years old, and on that day and the next one, a massive cavalcade of stars will converge on the Hollywood Bowl in California for Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90, A Star-Studded Concert Celebrating Willie’s 90th Birthday.
Produced by Blackbird Presents, the 2-day event will feature Willie Nelson, Allison Russell, Beck, Billy Strings, Bobby Weir, Charley Crockett, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell, Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Lukas Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff, Neil Young, Norah Jones, Orville Peck, Particle Kid, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers, The Chicks, The Lumineers, Tom Jones, Tyler Childers, Warren Haynes and Ziggy Marley. More names will be announced soon.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend my 90th birthday than being surrounded by family, friends and of course the fans who made this all possible,” says Willie Nelson. “It’s an honor to perform with such an incredible group of artists at such an iconic venue.”
Worth noting from the lineup of artists announced is Sturgill Simpson, who had to cancel his co-headlining tour with Tyler Childers during the early portions of the pandemic, and later ruptured his vocal chords while on Willie nelson’s Outlaw Fest tour. It very likely will be Sturgill’s first appearance back, and perhaps his only appearance for a while.
Since this is a Blackbird Presents production, it is likely many of the named artists will perform with a house band, but expect a few to play with their own backing bands as well. And since it’s Blackbird Presents, it will likely be documented for posterity, and released to TV/DVD at some point for those who can’t be in attendance.
This event also has a very “Blackbird Presents” vibe to who was chosen to perform. Though folks should not take issue with some artists such as Snoop Dogg or Ziggy Marley playing since they’re friends with Willie and his music appeals across genres, it would have been cool to see more of Willie’s peers be involved in this like Bobby Bare and Ray Wylie Hubbard, and some more actual country artists who’ve been close to Willie over the years like Jamey Johnson. Instead, you get so many of the same names that always seem to come up with Willie Nelson events.
Nonetheless, this looks like it will be a hell of a time, and one hell of a way to ring in 90 years of Willie Nelson entertaining us. As we continue to see, Willie’s longevity as a creator has been incredible, and he still is releasing quality and relevant albums. His next will be I Don’t Know A Thing About Love featuring the songs of Harlan Howard to be released on March 3rd.
Two-day packages for the general public go on sale Saturday, January 28th at 10 AM PT at http://ticketmaster.com. All eligible Capital One Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cardholders will have access to exclusive presale tickets before the general public beginning Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10 AM PT. For complete show details, including information on travel packages, go to willienelson90.com.
This story has been updated.
January 24, 2023 @ 8:47 pm
I agree it would be nice to see some of Willie’s peers. I realize Kris kristofferson has retired from public appearances but it would be cool if he made an appearance.
January 24, 2023 @ 10:51 pm
Sturgill was out on Willie’s Outlaw Tour backed by his Hillbilly Avengers when he ruptured his vocal cord(s). We were at his last show in Raleigh, NC (9/18/21). We had also seen him on the Outlaw Tour the night before in Va Beach and he was the greatest I’ve ever seen him – ornery, playful, joking, picking’ his heart out and singing the best I’ve ever heard him. I thought he was a little “off” the next night in Raleigh (defiantly not up to the night before’s performance). We didn’t make it to Charlotte, NC the following day (electing to stay an extra day in Raleigh) and neither did Sturgill.
I remember writing in the comment section of SCM, that something didn’t seem right with Sturgill in Raleigh, but it took a few days for the reports to come out his vocal chord(s) ruptured.I hope gets back to it and sticks with his bluegrass stylings.
Another rare sighting: Willie’s 90th birthday concert will be the first time anyone has laid eyes on Neil Young on a stage since COVID.
January 24, 2023 @ 11:23 pm
You’re right on both counts. Neil Young has been very staunchly against playing shows, and basically threw his fellow Farm Aid folks under the bus when they decided to move forward last year. The fact that both Neil and Sturgill are being enticed to LA tells you the kind of weight Willie’s birthday pulls.
January 25, 2023 @ 10:29 am
And that opened the door for Margo Price get a seat on the Farm Aid’s board of members/ directors.
January 25, 2023 @ 12:04 am
Insane!!! I intended being in the states about this time to do a birthday trip to Mexico. Now I’m determined to be there!
Willie Nelson was my very first concert on 6 February 1981, at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. I was 7 years old and my brother was 3. He was atop my dad’s shoulders in the crowd, he had bright red hair and started waving at Willie. Willie raised his hand off his guitar and waved back at my little bro.
Such an amazing memory, especially since we lost my brother to suicide almost 4 years ago.
Are you going, Trig? If you are I might have to ask you to grab me three extra tickets. Unsure if the US Ticketmaster site will allow my international credit card to buy tickets!
January 25, 2023 @ 8:30 am
I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make it to this. It’s going to be a very busy time in the year. If it was in Texas, I would be there. Seeing a lot of Texas folks angry it’s not in Texas, but we get Willie events all year—Luck Reunion, 4th of July Picnic. Would be nice to have this here as well, but I get it.
January 25, 2023 @ 12:08 pm
Texas folks angry it’s not in Texas lol. Try being born on the other side of the planet where few acts venture, and if/when they do they charge like wounded bulls.
I think at 90 Willie is allowed to do whatever Willie wants to do! Happy Hatch Day, Willie!
I was intending to fly out from NZ for this, but a kiwi friend of mine pointed out the 17,000 people in the bowl makes this a pretty enormous and overwhelming event for those of us not used to crowds and just misanthropes, in general.
She talks about when she goes to big events she always books seats on the end of a row near an exit incase of an active shooter situation. Is this a thing or is she especially paranoid?
Luck is probably a better option for me, and I’ll get to hangout out with you!
January 25, 2023 @ 11:07 pm
Had the privaledge of meeting Willie couple of times. He is a true cowboy gentleman. As someone has already said, and I concur in wishing that Kris would show up for the gala, and I would absolutely love to see Dylan show as well. I only wish Merle, Waylon, and Johnny could be there also.
January 25, 2023 @ 6:24 am
This is almost like a going-away party for Willie while he is still with us.
January 25, 2023 @ 5:46 pm
I’ll see you eat those words at Willie Nelson 110 in 20 years time 😂
January 25, 2023 @ 9:12 pm
Live and Kickin’, Willie’s 70th birthday album, was one of my first country CDs. I thought he was old back then, in 2003. At this point, 110 seems completely achievable. Keep on trucking Willie!
January 25, 2023 @ 7:15 am
Willie has outlived most of his peers, hence few are available to attend.
January 25, 2023 @ 7:22 am
It seems all tribute shows and albums have some combination of Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, Rateliff and Brandi Carlile. This one has three. Do their agents chase all of these events and albums?
I feel they’re overexposed and I’m not really familiar with their own music, outside of Crow’s old hits.
January 25, 2023 @ 8:36 am
It’s because Blackbird Presents is the promoter. Apparently, they only have so many names in their Rolodex, and a very narrow view of “country” music. And for some reason, every Willie event these days has the same names too. The Avett Brothers, Edie Brickell. Great artists, but these folks need to get out more. There’s a whole lot more names to choose from.
January 25, 2023 @ 2:43 pm
Yeah would have been nice. or if Jerry Jeff Walker made it a few more years it would be nice to see him there.
January 25, 2023 @ 12:12 pm
Sheryl Crow *vomits*. She’s become like Bono and just turns up everywhere, even when she’s irrelevant and unwanted. Didn’t she have like one hit song like 3 billion years ago?!?
January 25, 2023 @ 12:30 pm
When Sheryl Crow does country, she does it better than any modern country artist…
(w/ Marty Stuart performing Carter Cash’s “No Depression in Heaven”)
January 25, 2023 @ 1:58 pm
Fair call, that is a pretty song. It’s unlikely to make me SC fan though.
January 25, 2023 @ 6:58 pm
Don’t fret about not making it to Hollywood, or L.A.
Both are a cesspool.
January 26, 2023 @ 3:21 pm
I agree. Sheryl Crow is great. Who cares about hits.
January 25, 2023 @ 12:49 pm
I’ll take Sheryl Crow over Margo Price any day…
I’d go take a dump when Margo comes on if I was going to this show…
Mac Sledge's Revenge
January 25, 2023 @ 1:18 pm
The visual of forcing out a protest dump at a live music facility made my day.
January 25, 2023 @ 8:17 am
That seems like a lot of artists to perform in 2 days, at least without side stages. Very few of those names seem like side stage acts to me. Plus ‘more to be announced’. I’m hoping they do make a video of the event or are able to stream it or something.
January 25, 2023 @ 8:38 am
Artists will not be playing full sets of their own music. It will be these artists playing Willie Nelson songs and maybe a couple of their own to a house band, with some exceptions maybe. That is how they’ll fit everyone in.
January 25, 2023 @ 9:10 am
That makes sense
January 25, 2023 @ 10:23 am
And I’d take this bet if you gave me good odds, Sturgill (and probably others) ain’t signing. Some of these names might be just MCing a portion of the show…. Introducing artists, talking about Willie… this is going to look a lot more like an award show than a cohesive concert.
January 25, 2023 @ 11:06 am
The poster says “Performances By”, not “Appearances By”.
January 25, 2023 @ 11:46 am
It does. We’ll see. I mean, what fuck is Tom Jones going to sing? If you have ever seen one of the many Blackbird Presents tribute concerts on TV, there are artists who are there just to introduce other artists and give tribute commentary. It has more of an award show feel to it than a concert. That’s just my take.
January 25, 2023 @ 9:06 pm
Tom Jones can sing “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”
Or “Crazy” or “Hello Walls” or anything the frack he pleases.
January 25, 2023 @ 8:19 am
So happy to see Sturgill getting out and about again!
January 25, 2023 @ 12:38 pm
So excited! Got my ticket this morning. Only disappointment is no jamey johnson but hopefully that changes. Never been to the Hollywood bowl, pictures look beautiful. Any word on 4th of July picnic this year?
Country Music Disciple
January 25, 2023 @ 1:27 pm
Since I don’t have Capital One or Mastercard, I hope there are decent tickets available for the pre-sales tomorrow. No way do I want to miss this event. Already booked a hotel that’s only an 10 minute walk from the venue and Hollywood is a 5 hour drive south on I-5 from where I live in California.
My 89 year old grandma is currently in the hospital after getting a pacemaker yesterday. She’ll turn 90 in October. Prior to her having recent issues which prompted her to see a cardiologist, she was still driving and walking around better than a lot of people younger then her. We need to appreciate our very senior elders and try to learn from them as much as possible…especially in this advancing technological age which seems to take away from quiet moments just hanging out on the front/back porch.
January 26, 2023 @ 7:06 pm
Vincent Neil Emerson has played a few Willie events. Maybe he’ll be added to this one.
January 26, 2023 @ 9:40 pm
Didn’t realize BOB WEIR changed his name to BOBBY WEIR, thought at first it was Rusty’s son or relative. That would have been more apropos!
January 27, 2023 @ 9:58 am
It would have been nice if this was being done in Texas.
Old 5 and Dimer
January 28, 2023 @ 3:06 pm
If it was in Texas where it should be Id be there. Lost me California. Really Willie?
February 1, 2023 @ 8:07 am
It should be ….Willie defines Country music’s past,present and future . Enjoy Number 90 Apr.29,Red-Headed Stranger !!!!!