To say Willie Nelson is a real music icon would be an understatement. His debut album, No Place For Me (released in 1956), was released on April 29, 1933. He went on to win ten Grammy Awards and a record 52 nominations in a career that won him ten Grammys. Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and Kennedy Center Honors winner Johnny Cash was admitted in 1993.
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On the other hand, Nelson has been the target of a slew of Death and health-related hoaxes in the last several years. Fans are understandably concerned about his health, given his advanced age.
To separate reality from fiction, we looked into the genesis of this tragic rumor and how Willie Nelson is doing these days.
Nelson Has Been The Target Of Several Death Hoaxes
Nelson has been the subject of several death hoaxes in recent years, even though he is still alive. According to Snopes, a phony news site, MSMBC.co claimed that a groundskeeper at the country icon’s Maui house discovered him unconscious and unresponsive in the front yard on February 21, 2015. On social media, many people were deceived by this story.
On April 11 of the same year, the same site updated the bogus piece, igniting a second round of death rumors. Of course, these reports were unfounded. On August 3, 2017, Chicago’s WLS-AM started a new death rumor on social media:
Multiple people in the Country music industry have told @JohnHowellWLS & @RamblinRay890 that Willie Nelson has passed. Still confirming atm
— WLS-AM 890 (@wlsam890) August 3, 2017
According to a subsequent statement, the radio station admitted a scam had duped them. In the words of Buddy Cannon, Nelson’s good buddy and songwriting partner, “[Willie] and I chuckle about. Do you have any ideas? It’s funny what people will say.
Nelson, of course, being the legend he is, did far more than chuckle at his death hoaxes. Those rumors were mocked in the song “Still Not Dead,” which he and Cannon created for his album God’s Problem Child. Nelson also made a sarcastic music video for the song, despite rumors to the contrary, to celebrate his life.
What Is Willie Nelson’s Health Status In 2022?
Nelson has had a few close calls with his health throughout his life. Both in 1981 in Maui, when his lung collapsed while swimming and in 2012 on the Colorado Rockies, when he canceled a show in Denver because of “issues due to the high altitude and emphysema.”
In 2012, the long-time cannabis and tobacco smoker told NPR that he stopped smoking the former after contracting pneumonia on at least three occasions. Stem cell treatment improved his lung health in 2015. A recurrence of lung issues forced him to postpone a summer tour in 2019. On Twitter, he revealed that the time had been canceled:
To my fans,
I’m sorry to cancel my tour, but I have a breathing problem that I need to have my doctor check out.
I’ll be back
— Willie Nelson (@WillieNelson) August 8, 2019
After a few more months, he informed the local station KSAT in San Antonio that he had finally quit using marijuana.
Breathing is more difficult for Wilson because of his history of lung misuse. “I have to be careful now,” Wilson said. “I’ve given up smoking and am taking better care of myself these days.”
Wilson appears to be in the good physical and mental condition as of this writing. Spending time with his family was the perfect way to start his confinement. The Covid vaccination was administered to him in January of 2021, and he encouraged his followers to do the same.
Nelson Continues To Pursue The Things He’s Passionate About
Despite his advanced years and ongoing health issues, Willie Nelson showed no signs of slowing down. Even though Nelson no longer smokes, he advocates for marijuana legalization. The event, entitled “Planting the Seed,” will take place in April 2021, with him serving as one of the co-hosts.
It was the goal of the four-day virtual festival to “de-stigmatize, educate, and promote cannabis culture in an informative and entertaining way” That marijuana isn’t a drug is what Nelson thinks has to be taught to the public. Hemp and cannabis are different, yet they are part of the same family.” It’s hard to see how the government can declare that God is wrong if He put it there and wants it to develop.
Nelson, of course, hasn’t forgotten about his first passion: making music. Even now, he isn’t afraid to try new things or work with artists he wouldn’t usually work with. He collaborated with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to cover David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” in October 2020. In February 2021, he also released his 71st solo studio album, a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”
Does Willie Nelson Still Tour?
Nelson’s last remaining option is to return to the stage. Even Lukas, his son, is encouraging him to get back on the road via social media:
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Nelson returned phone calls from admirers and loved ones. His website indicates that he will perform until at least 2022, if not longer.
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That he made it out of 2020 and 2021 unscathed is excellent news. Also, he’s the same energetic singer and composer that fans fell in love with throughout the 1970s. Let’s all pause and honor Nelson’s memory for time’s sake. There will never be another like him regarding cultural and societal impact.
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