We Should All be this Cool at 70 (Willie Nelson, on the Cover of the TV Guide)


ABBOTT, Texas)Willie Nelson — who celebrates his 70th birthday Wednesday — shows no sign of slowing down. Instead of taking the day off, he’ll play the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, La., one of more than 200 dates this year.

“We’ve been doing it so long it’s like a regular routine. It’s good for us just to keep hitting it every day,” Nelson said in a recent phone interview before a show in Boca Raton, Fla.     

Nelson has homes in Austin and Hawaii, and occasionally spends time in Abbott, a central Texas community of 300 where his grandparents raised him.

“I think that did more than anything to mold whatever character I have. There are a lot of wise people in that town and still are,” he said.

Nelson, who won his sixth Grammy in February and is planning a Farm Aid concert for the San Francisco area this fall, joked that he’d hoped his birthday might pass without notice. But he said he doesn’t mind the extra attention.

“Just living 70 years is a pretty good accomplishment to be talking about, and laughing about it is something too,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who’d like to be 70 and having as much fun as I’m having.”

Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton, Norah Jones and Ray Charles were among a diverse group of artists who recently joined Nelson at the Beacon Theatre in New York City for the taping of a two-hour birthday special that will air Memorial Day on USA Network.

“It was quite a birthday party, to say the least,” Nelson said. “There was so much talent there, so many different people went above and beyond the call of anything, even friendship to go do that show. … All of them guys coming from all over the world makes you feel good.”

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