It was a super star-studded weekend in honor of Willie Nelson. The country crooner turned 90 years on April 29, and to celebrate, the “On the Road Again” singer had two back-to-back days of performances at the Hollywood Bowl. In a set of performances titled “Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90,” the epic weekend was as genre-bending as the man himself.
An eclectic mix of artists were there for the celebration, including Orville Peck, Beck, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, Neil Young, The Chicks, The Avett Brothers and Snoop Dogg.
Nelson was even joined on stage by 79-year-old Keith Richards, who harmonized with his buddy as they sang classic country tunes from Billy Joe Shaver and Waylon Jennings.
But it was Nelson who was the center of attention. In high spirits, the Texas native made jokes about his love of marijuana and poked fun at how he is losing his memory at his old age.
“I want to thank all the artists who came out tonight to help celebrate whatever it is we’re celebrating,” said Nelson.
Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Garner and Helen Mirren served as presenters throughout the weekend’s performances. Hawke has long been vocal about his love for Willie Nelson.
“Willie is an example of somebody who is in service of music. He’s in service of ideas,” Hawke said in an interview with Texas Monthly. “He’s moving with the river of life. And because of that, at every age, he’s interesting, because he’s not trying to stay thirty-three. He’s not trying to stay forty-seven. He’s clearly an old man now. He’s not pretending he’s not an old man.”
Owen Wilson also served as emcee for the event, giving kudos to the man of the hour.
“As a kid growing up in Texas, it seemed like there was nothing bigger than Willie Nelson,” said Wilson. “And looking out at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, it still feels like there’s nothing bigger than Willie Nelson.”