Bobbie Nelson, the sister and bandmate of Willie Nelson, has died aged 91.
The pianist, singer and member of the Nelson Family band, passed away surrounded by her family on Friday morning (11.03.22).
A statement on Willie’s Instagram page read: “Bobbie Nelson passed away this morning, peacefully and surrounded by family. Bobbie was 91.
“Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place. She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer. Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed.
“But we are so lucky to have had her in our lives. Please keep her family in your thoughts and give them the privacy they need at this time.”
The musician was featured on a number of her younger sibling’s albums, including ‘Red Headed Stranger’ and ‘Shotgun Willie’.
The pair had also collaborated on two tomes; ‘Me and My Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band’ and the picturebook ‘Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music’.
Bobbie was also a singer in her own right but only released her debut album, ‘Audiobiography’, in her 70s in 2008.
Willie, 88, has suffered from breathing issues in later life and announced he’d quit smoking in 2019 after it almost killed him.
He said: “I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful.
“I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever. And that almost killed me. I don’t smoke anymore – take better care of myself. I’m here, I’m glad to be here. I’m lucky to be here.”
However, Willie loves being able to perform for his fans and doesn’t have any intention of quitting touring any time soon.
He explained: “I love the bus. This is my home. [Performing] is an energy exchange. They give me a lot of positive energy and I hope to give them a lot of positive energy.
“For an hour they get away from everything they don’t like.”