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7 ways to celebrate Willie Nelson's 90th birthday in Austin

Willie Nelson smiling during a march for democracy at the state Capitol on July 31, 2021.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Can't make it to a Willie Nelson celebration this weekend? You'll still have another chance to celebrate the country music icon this summer.

Country music icon Willie Nelson turns 90 on Saturday. The native Texan has come to be known as one of America’s most legendary music artists, dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of his fans for decades.

Willie’s performance at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin in 1972 is recognized as “the starting point of today’s Austin music scene."

While Willie will celebrate his birthday with a performance in Los Angeles this weekend, here are some ways to celebrate him locally:

1. Attend a special Willie tribute concert downtown

Austin cover band The Motts will perform a tribute concert to Willie Nelson at 3TEN ACL Live on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Austin City Limits music venue sits on Willie Nelson Boulevard, formally known as Second Street. Tickets start at $15 not including fees.

2. Listen to Willie all weekend long on KUTX

Join KUT's sister station KUTX for wall-to-wall Willie all weekend long, from the classics you know and love, to deep cuts you’ve never heard. Listen on the radio at 98.9 FM or at

3. Take a selfie with Willie's statue downtown

The statue of Willie Nelson in downtown Austin depicting the singer holding his guitar.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
The statue was unveiled on April 20, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

Head downtown to take a photo with the 1-ton, 8-foot-tall statue of Willie standing behind Austin City Hall near the ACL Live theater on Willie Nelson Boulevard.

4. Vote Willie into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

In 1993, Willie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. This year, Willie is a nominee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Visit the Hall of Fame's website to take part in the "Fan Vote."

5. Listen to 'Amazing Grace: The Story of Willie Nelson'

Learn more about the country star’s life by listening to this hour-long KUTX documentary hosted by Texas Standard's David Brown — originally broadcast in 2008 — exploring how Willie rose from humble beginnings in Texas to become one of the most famous artists of all time.

"This is the story of an ambitious man who got lost chasing the American dream, only to find himself back home," Brown says. "It’s the story of a Texas iconoclast, and an American icon."

6. Share your Willie memory or encounter with KUT

In celebrating 90 years of Willie, KUT wants to know what he means to you. Is there one concert you'll never forget? One particular Willie song that reminds you about a special someone or time in your life? Have you crossed paths with the country music icon?

Tell us here. Or read the submissions we've received here.

7. Can't celebrate this weekend? Join Willie at his Fourth of July Picnic

There are more celebrations in store if you can’t celebrate this weekend. Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic is returning to Austin this summer at Q2 Stadium.

Willie Nelson & Family will perform along with Tyler Childers, Dwight Yoakam, Shakey Graves and more. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

Honorable mention: Fly to LA

Celebrate with Willie himself at his birthday party at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday.

Over 35 musicians will join Willie on stage including Chris Stapleton, Neil Young, Kacey Musgraves, Snoop Dogg, The Chicks and The Lumineers. It’s not too late to buy tickets for the show and catch a flight from Austin.

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