Texas has more than its share of musical legends, but it’s hard to argue that two of the state’s most beloved sons are country powerhouses Willie Nelson and George Strait. The two have, remarkably, never performed together on stage throughout their respective impressive careers — but that all changed Saturday night (Jan. 12).
At Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena that night, an all-star lineup of more than two dozen acts came together to play tribute to Nelson in a concert dubbed Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw, A Willie Nelson All-Star Concert Celebration. Strait was one of them, and he was joined on stage by Nelson himself, where their debut duet performance was announced with enthusiasm and roaring approval from the crowd.
Instead of leading with one of Nelson’s classic tunes, as most of the other artists did, Strait decided to play an original new song talking about something he’s never done…of course, how he’s never played with Nelson before!
The tune circled around the key lyric “I ain’t never got to sing one with Willie,” which finally had Nelson chiming in with a concluding, “I think it’s great to finally sing one with Strait, and our fans will all love it, I know.”
The evening also included performances from a multi-genre slate of heavy-hitting names, including Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, John Mellencamp, Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, the Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson and more. It will be aired later this year on the A&E Network for fans who weren’t able to attend, so stay tuned.