Can you believe one of country music’s biggest legends is turning 80 this year? Willie Nelson has been the face of country music since his beginning in the 1950s and has produced, written, sang and edited hundreds of country songs that have paved the way for the new country generation. Now with his 80th birthday on the fold, we’ve decided to salute one of country music’s most popular voices by giving you eight of his best duets.
From the famous Waylon & Willie duet to some brand new pairings with his duets album, these eight songs capture the magic and talent that Willie Nelson has so graciously offered the country world for over 50 years.
“Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” – Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings
This Otis Redding original was covered by the pair on their follow up album WWII released in 1982.
“Slow Dancing” – U2 & Willie Nelson
U2′s lead singer Bono had a dream about a song, this song to be exact, and he woke up thinking one thing: ‘this is Willie Nelson’s song’. That was, of course, until he realized it wasn’t anywhere in the singer’s repertoire. Thankfully Bono approached Willie to collaborate on the dreamt up song and this masterpiece was made.
“Seven Spanish Angels” – Willie Nelson & Ray Charles
Ray Charles teamed up with Willie Nelson to record this hit, which was on Willie’s 1985 duet album Half Nelson. It was also Ray Charles’ highest charted single on the country charts, hitting number one for a week and standing 12 weeks on the chart thereafter.
“Write One For Me” – Ringo Starr & Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson teamed up with the legendary Beatles drummer Ringo Starr on this duet which was featured on Ringo’s 2003 album Ringo Rama.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Willie Nelson & Norah Jones
In true songwriter fashion, Norah Jones’ brainchild of a duet album featured some pretty big names, most notably Willie Nelson as they covered this classic Christmas song.
“Always On My Mind” – Bon Jovi & Willie Nelson
There are a handful of songs that fans can always picture Willie Nelson singing and this is by far one of them. It is one of Willie’s most notable singles.
“Beer For My Horses” – Toby Keith
This number one country song was a massive collaboration between modern country star Toby Keith and classic country star Willie Nelson. While the title of the song can make any unknowing music fan say ‘huh’ it was one of the biggest songs of the year during its release in 2003.
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson always made magic together, especially with this track. It’s undoubtedly one of the most notable tracks by the pair and can still be heard in country bars across the country to this day.
What’s your favorite Willie Nelson duet?