Willie Nelson's 90th Birthday Celebration 'High-Lights'


CBS celebrated Willie Nelson's 90th birthday with an edited version of the two-day Willie Nelson 90 concerts in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl on April 29-30.

The spirited two-hour show that aired December 17 featured appearances by his CelebStoner friends Snoop Dogg, Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

The musical lineup featured artists covering classics from Nelson's large songbook, including The Chicks ("Sunday Bloody Morning"), Billy Strings ("Whiskey River'), Miranda Lambert ("Mammas Don't Let Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys") and Jamey Johnson, Warren Haynes and Booker T. Jones ("Georgia on My Mind"). An unsteady Kris Kristoffersson joined Rosanne Cash on "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)." Keith Richards and George Strait both played with Nelson close to the end. However, Dave Matthews flubbed his version of "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away" and Sheryl Crow offered a stiff "Crazy," arguably Nelson's greatest hit.

RELATED: 2023 CelebStoner of the Year, Willie Nelson

The CelebStoners didn't disappoint. In his introduction, Harrelson noted Nelson's many 2023 accomplishments, then joked, "In that time all I accomplished was to smoke 420 pounds pot." Harrelson added:

"He's not just one of the greatest songwriters who's ever lived, he's a great humanitarian. What he's done for the farmers, for biodiesel and for our blessed St. Mary Jane inspires many."

While Wilson also hailed Nelson for "always inspring us to take the high road - I mean the HIGH road, like way high," Crow mentioned the time Nelson "offered my dad a joint." Matthews recalled getting stoned on Nelson's famous tour bus and Jennifer Garner, who introduced a few acts, called him a "rebel – he rebels against conformity, prejudice and negative thinking."

During "(Roll Me Up and) Smoke Me When I Die," Snoop Dogg, while holding a blunt, asked the crowd:

"Anyone out there smoking tonight? Roll one for Mr. Nelson."

One song that didn't make the final cut was Jack Johnson's "Willie Got Me Stoned and Took All My Money."

Nelson tops off his extremely good year – he also won two Grammys and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – with the Willie Nelson & Family miniseries streaming December 21 on Paramount+.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.