Lukas Nelson Gives Mom Credit For Keeping Dad Willie “Healthy And Alive” As Legend Turns 90

“The greatest thing about my mom is she takes great care of my father.”

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson

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If anybody knows how Willie Nelson has managed to keep touring as he approaches his 90th birthday, it’s his son and fellow singer-songwriter, Lukas Nelson

Ahead of his dad’s big birthday this weekend, the younger Nelson appeared on Texas Monthly’s One By Willie podcast to reflect on his father’s incredible life, his ongoing influence, and how much they all owe to the Nelson family matriarch, Annie D'Angelo.  

Speaking with host John Spong, Lukas reflected on his childhood in Hawaii and his mom’s “smart” decision to raise him and his brother, Micah, away from Willie’s fame, where they didn’t grow up “feeling like princes.”

"It can be a scary thing. People get crazy,” Lukas said of the perils of fame. “And people want to be around it, and you never know the motives of people. “It’s a very difficult thing to navigate that world. Growing up away from what would be the epicenter of that, in Texas, I think, was a pretty smart, wise decision by my mom.”

Lukas described his mom, Willie’s fourth wife, as “an amazing person” who deserves a good amount of credit for her husband’s long life. 

“She’s brilliant, she’s strong, and she’s full of integrity. I mean, she’s fiery. She’s a good balance to my dad,” he shared. “The greatest thing about my mom is she takes great care of my father. Not the greatest thing—there’s many good things—but that is one of my favorite parts of her. How well she takes care of him and how she’s kept him healthy and alive and still doing what he loves for so long. I think he appreciates and respects that.”

Spong went on to marvel at how decades of fame hasn’t seemed to change Willie, to which Lukas replied, simply: “Well, first of all, I think he’s a normal person.” 

“I think he’s got his ups and downs and he’s got his issues and his demons and all those things,” he continued. “I think that the difference between him and someone, is he doesn’t stand on pretense, maybe.”

Lukas explained how his father has never felt the need to appear as anything other than himself, for better or worse. 

“That acceptance of who you are really opens the door towards presence, because if you’re so worried about appearances, you’re going to be spending all your time worried about that and none of your time on what’s going on right now, or trying to be happy and all those things,” he said. “I just think he spends his time well. He doesn’t think about those things.”

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