In a recent report, it was revealed that country music legend Willie Nelson almost died after he contracted Covid-19 a week after his 89th birthday in early May. Thankfully, Nelson bounced back, but according to his wife, Annie, she wasn’t sure her husband would survive the disease.
The New York Times recently published a lengthy article on the iconic country music singer called “Willie Nelson’s Long Encore.” The article dives into this final chapter of his decades-long career. Journalist Jody Rosen discusses Nelson’s late career and says he’s not just making music and touring based on nostalgia. Instead, the “On the Road Again” singer remains artistically creative and continues to record relevant music like he did on his 2022 album A Beautiful Time.
Within Rosen’s article on Wille Nelson, she shared details about the musician’s health scare a few months back. On May 7, Nelson’s team revealed they canceled his headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz Fest among other upcoming concerts. His team cited the reason for the cancellation as being “due to a positive Covid case in the Willie Nelson Family band.”
While sleeping on his tour bus, Willie woke up one night and had trouble breathing. Considering Nelson’s lengthy history of respiratory issues, they didn’t take the situation lightly. The famous singer would be at a higher risk than most if he contracted Covid, even though the latest strains have become less deadly. Nelson’s team acted swiftly and took action immediately, which may have saved his life.
Willie Nelson Says COVID-19 Was ‘Nothing to Laugh At’
After being tested, Willie Nelson’s results came back positive for Covid-19. That’s when they threw everything they had at the disease. In fact, Nelson’s team already had a nebulizer on the tour bus to help with his breathing issues. They utilized the nebulizer and also administered monoclonal antibodies and steroids.
The tour plans halted and Willie Nelson returned to his ranch right outside of Austin, Texas. Once they arrived, a mobile medical unit came and treated the famous singer at his home. Annie Nelson spoke about her husband’s health scare to the New York Times.
“We turned the house into a hospital,” Annie Nelson explained. “There were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure he was going to make it.”
Thankfully, Willie Nelson survived his positive Covid-19 case and was doing much better about two weeks later. By the end of the month, Nelson and his band were back on the road playing shows in New Braunfels, Texas. However, Nelson himself admitted that the disease was no joke and that it took its toll on him.
“I had a pretty rough time with it,” Willie Nelson said to the outlet. “Covid ain’t nothing to laugh at, that’s for sure.”
While Willie Nelson pulled through this time, his health scare serves as a reminder. For one, it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come since early 2020 when it comes to Covid-19. Yet it also reminds us that we need to cherish the time we have left with Shotgun Willie. His iconic career rolls on as the Outlaw Music Festival tours across the nation, but we shouldn’t take the living legend for granted.