Proceeds from Willie Nelson’s upcoming, previously scheduled show in Austin, Texas will now benefit the West Volunteer Fire Department in West, Texas, the scene of a deadly explosion earlier this week. The Country Music Hall of Famer’s show takes place Sunday, April 28 at The Backyard.
“West is just a few miles from my hometown of Abbott,” Nelson wrote in a statement on his website. “I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up. This is my community. These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life. My heart is praying for the community that we call home.”
Another statement from Willie ran in the Waco Tribune (Waco is 20 miles south of West). “There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there,” Nelson told the Tribune. “We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn’t. But they’re strong, and they’ll be back. It’s one of those things you don’t get over. But you will get through it.”
Nelson was among many country artists from Texas and surrounding states who were moved by the tragedy. Additional notes of support have come from Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and the Eli Young Band, among others.