The Country Music Association has named its lifetime achievement award after Willie Nelson, so it’s only fitting that the Red-Headed Stranger was its first recipient.
Nelson was also the subject of — and a participant in — an all-star tribute to his career at Thursday’s (Nov. 1) CMA Awards, as several artists covered some of his best-known songs before he joined them on stage for “On the Road Again.” And by “joined on stage,” we mean he walked out of his seat in the theater, strapped on his guitar and started playing. Willie Nelson doesn’t need to warm up.
Prior to Nelson taking the stage, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum performed “Always on My Mind” and “Crazy” — which is most associated with Patsy Cline, but which Nelson wrote. Blake Shelton then did “Whiskey River,” joined by Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael and Keith Urban on guitar.
What did you think of the tribute to Nelson at the CMAS? Any other songs you would have liked to hear?