Willie Nelson’s new studio album released on 89th birthday

TEXAS — A man arguably bigger in star power than any other celebrity from the Lone Star State has a reason to celebrate to the max Friday. Stop what you’re doing and wish living Texas legend Willie Nelson a happy birthday.

At just the age of 7, he wrote his first song, later creating hits for Patsy Cline, Ray Price and others. As the 1970s arrived, he had etched his undeniable superstardom.

Although he retired in the early ’70s, settling in Austin, Nelson grew restless and reemerged in the music business. Even with a few health issues, he has kept his foot on the gas, performing at sociopolitcal events to aid others.  

Willie Nelson talks to the media at the Harvest the Hope concert in Neligh, Neb. on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. The concert in northeast Nebraska was organized to raise money for efforts opposing the Keystone petroleum pipeline. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

The Abbott, Texas-born country singer is 89 years young Friday. As a nod to his birthday, his record label, Legacy Recordings, has released his new studio album “A Beautiful Time” on vinyl. It’s Nelson’s 17th album under the label.

Nelson’s longtime musical collaborator Buddy Cannon produced the new album and co-wrote six of the new songs.

The vinyl will be available in black and an exclusive orange at Barnes & Noble. The album can also be bought in CD and digital format as well.

Nelson will perform for his birthday in Austin, Texas, at the “Strait from Moody Center” grand opening on Friday and Saturday night around 7:30 p.m. Country artist George Strait will headline with Willie Nelson & Family and Randy Rogers Band as special guest performers. 

On Sunday, May 1, Nelson will have a special concert event on his ranch in Luck, Texas, with Bruce Robinson as the host and performances by guest of honor Nelson, himself, as well as Nathaniel Rateliff, Robert Earl Keen, Margo Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Vincent Neil Emerson.

The program will air on Nelson’s SiriusXM channel Willie’s Roadhouse at 8 p.m. EST for the three-day birthday celebration. His daughter Paula Nelson will host a one-hour 6 p.m. EST special full of heartfelt remarks and birthday wishes from Rateliff, Keen and Robinson. The program will play a couple of his songs from his new album as well. 

Also, don’t forget Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks, convening at the new Q2 Stadium, home of Major League Soccer’s Austin FC, at 11 a.m. on July 4.