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It's Willie Nelson's 80th Birthday

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flickr.com/photos/whittlz

It’s official: the Red Headed Stranger is an octogenarian.

Willie Nelson, the Crown Prince of Texas Country, turns 80 today. And it seemed as mellow an affair as one would expect from Willie – despite a busy week.

Nelson celebrated his birthday weekend at The Backyard on Sunday, with all the profits benefiting his own backyard of West, Texas – Nelson grew up and currently lives in Abbott, just seven miles north of West.

He also pitched director Peter Jackson his Gandalf rendition for Lord of the Rings to replace Sir Ian McKellan.

But Nelson’s also received a fair amount of attention from doting celebrities, garnering birthday greetings from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Kris Kristofferson, the AARP, Norah Jones, Stephen Colbert and even scored a shout-out from Band of Horses at their show at Stubb’s last week.  He’s even got a website dedicated to the affair set up by his own charity campaign Farm Aid.

Some Twitter users have adopted a more personal, more practical celebration of Nelson's birthday by wearing his signature red bandana to pay tribute to 80 years of the country music legend.

For a complete collection of Willie over the years, visit Texas Monthly's Willie Nelson section for articles, magazine covers and even a profile of his famous acoustic guitar, Trigger.

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