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I grew up with the Highwaymen, which was Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. Mom and Dad rode rodeo, so country music was always in the house and the car. They threw in some Dolly Parton, too.
As far as those kinds of things, I also played at the concert to call for the release of Nelson Mandela when he was a political prisoner in South Africa. We were celebrating his 70th birthday and calling for his release.
I'd just gotten into Los Angeles from Texas, where I live, and the phone rang and it was the guy calling about the Willie Nelson video. I was totally excited about it.
I think there's a mythology that if you want to change the world, you have to be sainted, like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ordinary people with lives that go up and down and around in circles can still contribute to change.
It was a free-for-all with music when I was growing up. My mother was a huge music fanatic so I was listening to everything from country to heavy metal to Indigo Girls to Elton John. I guess when I was really young I didn't like Willie Nelson, and she obviously loved him. Now I do too, I'm so thankful to her for playing his music nonstop.
Willie Nelson is not just a star or a headliner, he's a legend.
Today, I see thousands of Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas marching forward and calling on us. The boys and girls have joined. I have joined in. We ask you to join, too.
If I could ask for any life, I'd like to be the lead singer and guitarist for Willie Nelson & Family. That is to say, Willie.
Whoever becomes the head of the National Theater finds himself in a position like that of Nelson's Column - pigeons dump on you because you're there.
Nelson Mandela will always be the face of South Africa. The traveler passing through the country will see Mandela's face almost everywhere he looks. Truly, the man is omnipresent.
Nelson Mandela is physically separated from us, but his soul and spirit will never die. He belongs to the whole world because he is an icon of equality, freedom and love, the values we need all the time everywhere.
What is that song that Willie Nelson sang? 'Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few.' I think of that. No big deal. I've reached a stage in my life where I am content.
From time to time, you have seminal personalities who really change the way the world sees itself - people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. Warren Buffett is that kind of person in the business world.
When I went to lobby Nelson Mandela while the post-apartheid constitution was being drafted, I asked him to endorse making it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality. I'd been warned that he might giggle if I mentioned homosexuality.
Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X came out of prison stronger.
I've always said I've wanted to be around forever. I never wanted to be the latest, greatest thing. I want to be like Willie Nelson - touring when I'm 70. To do that, you can't be the latest, greatest thing because those things fizzle out.
Somehow you can tell the difference when a song is written just to get on the radio and when what someone does is their whole life. That comes through in Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson. There is no separating their life from their music.
Ricky Nelson... I couldn't believe it when he died. He was a great rock star.
Dee Dee Ramone
But it was great, we sit in the same dressing room where, like, Johnny Cash sat and Willie Nelson and all those guys. That was in itself something amazing - I was on the same space these guys stood on, ya know?
Working with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson takes you up another level.
I used to do my Nelson Mandela voice to blag restaurant tables in Cape Town. It rarely worked. Now what a great city that is.
The political, social, and spiritual impact of the life example set by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela might be measured in part by the profound and unique gestures made by people in different countries to honor his life upon learning of his death.
I was terrified, terrified in 'Songwriter,' because there I was, New York Jewish girl, singing country-western onstage with Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. I mean, forget it. I was so terrified.
Lesley Ann Warren
I always loved Willie Nelson, but I loved the songs that Willie made famous.
It's like Willie Nelson. You're an artist and you have different styles inside of you.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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