Willie Nelson, President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, “Amazing Grace”

by: Linda Smith  

The audience members at Willie Nelson’s concert at Chastain Park (now Cadence Bank Amphitheatre) in Atlanta in 2016 had no idea they were in for the treat of a lifetime. Nelson and longtime friend and collaborator Kris Kristofferson welcomed two honorary guests to the stage. Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter joined half of the Highwaymen for a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Merle Haggard was originally billed to share the stage with Nelson for the Chastain Park show. After the country legend’s passing, Kristofferson joined the concert lineup along with two of Haggard’s sons, Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had been known to be huge Nelson fans and were spotted braving the rain from the front row during the Atlanta show.

The nearly 7,000 fans in attendance cheered wildly and stood up to applaud as the Carters walked on stage. Nelson started singing “Amazing Grace,” and the Carters and Kristofferson joined in for an epic singalong. In the video, you can see the sea of fans recording the special moment on their phones.

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