History was made on Saturday evening (Jan. 12), when Willie Nelson and George Strait shared the stage together at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for the very first time. It’s hard to believe that the two respected Texas natives and country artists never collaborated together before, but it was a fitting way to honor Willie during the concert special Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw, A Willie Nelson All-Star Concert Celebration.
In the midst of an all-star lineup that included a wide range of talent from all genres, King George walked out on stage to join Willie for a memorable performance of “Sing One With Willie,” a tune the two penned with George’s son, Bubba Strait, and Buddy Cannon. Expected to be included on George’s upcoming album, the song has the singer marveling at Willie’s talents and his misfortune that they’ve never collaborated together before.
“Now I’ve heard him with Merle, Waylon and Cash / Jones and Toby, that man is totally gracious / I’m thinking ‘Damn, why not me?’ / We can even sing it on TV, just like him and ol’ Julio Iglesias,” George sings.
Towards the song’s end, King George’s wish finally comes true and he expresses how he is eternally grateful to the Red Headed Stranger. “I can’t believe that I’m singing with Willie / Thank you man, you just made my career,” he croons while a big smile engulfs his face.
Additional performers throughout the evening included Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Alison Krauss, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Lyle Lovett, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Sheryl Crow, Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks and Vince Gill.