George Strait Sings Willie Nelson ‘Happy Birthday’ On His 89th

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A+E Networks)

Country music legends George Strait and Willie Nelson appeared together at the dedication of the Moody Center in Austin, Texas on a very special night; Willie Nelson’s 89th birthday, Friday, April 29th (Or is it the 30th?) The last time the two appeared together was for Willie: The Life and Songs of an American Outlaw. The show took place in January 2019 and featured other acts like Emmylou Harris, Chris Stapleton, and The Avett Brothers.

Now, Willie Nelson joined George Strait for Strait From the Moody Center, the dedication ceremony for the University of Texas’ new 15,000-seat arena. Strait performed, of course, as well as Willie Nelson & Family and the Randy Rogers Band.

George Strait led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” for Willie Nelson’s 89th. He also did a couple of duets with Nelson, performing “Sing One With Willie” and “Pancho and Lefty,” which was one of Nelson’s number 1 hits with Merle Haggard. Well, George Strait can’t say he never got to sing one with Willie anymore.

Willie Nelson gave an ecstatic performance, playing off the audience’s energy as they cheered for old favorites like “On the Road Again,” “Always On My Mind,” and “Whiskey River.” He also played a new one called “I’ll Love You ‘Till the Day I Die” from his just-released album. All in all, it seems like it was an eventful birthday for Willie Nelson and a successful dedication for the Moody Center.

George Strait Sings One With Willie, Plus Willie Nelson Puts Out a New Album on His Birthday

Willie Nelson gave himself a little birthday present in the form of a brand new album titled “A Beautiful Time.” The album is an honest reflection of his career, and he still shows all the musical and lyrical talent that made him such a beloved success for so many years.

On the title track, “A Beautiful Time,” Nelson makes sure we know that he may be 89, but he’s not old yet; the line “If I ever get old” is a recurring theme in this song; Nelson isn’t done living, he’s still got life to experience, and when he’s finally done, he’ll be able to say he truly had “a beautiful time.”

The whole album is a tribute to age, and living life with gratitude, humility, and intent. Willie Nelson outdid himself on this one, adding to a body of work that has spanned multiple decades and style shifts. Over time, Willie Nelson has stayed true to himself and his music, and “A Beautiful Time” is a reflection of that. This album is everything I want to listen to right now to remind me that I only have this one life, and I better take care of it with love and positive intent.