Willie Nelson is an American arts classic with a career that spans four generations. On Apr. 14, 2013 he was featured in a new article by Parade magazine talking about how the environmentally friendly celebrity stays green while on the road. ““All my buses run on BioWillie,” says the singer. The 79-year-old celeb proudly refers his own personal blend of a diesel fuel alternative produced, one that is manufactured right here in the god old U. S. of A. by an eco-friendly company he started. “Made partly from vegetable oil, it results in 70 percent fewer harmful emissions…”, the mixture is one that is nearly as unique as he.
Nelson, as a cultural icon in American country music history and nationwide pop culture, was born on April 30, 1933, in Abbot, Texas. His mother abandoned the family and his father died, leaving Willie and his sister Bobbie Lee to be raised by their gospel singing grandparents.
Willie worked the depression era cotton fields and started playing the guitar at age six. He played the high school dances and even had a radio show for a while.
But music is not his only passion. Nelson is also a groundbreaking philanthropist who, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, founded Farm Aid in 1985.
He is an eco-friendly celebrity who founded Willie Nelson Sustainable Biodiesel, a company that sells biofuel made from vegetable oil to truck stops. His work in sustainable biodiesel was so successful that it earned him the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Visionary Award in July 2011.
Nelson is also passionate about animals, having worked to ban the slaughter of wild horses, an extensive problem in the western United States. He supports the Animal Welfare Institute and Best Friends Animal Society for homeless pets.
He is also a social activist who contributed to “Occupy This Album” as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The box set was released in May 2012.
Nelson joined the Air Force, but was discharged with a bad back. He married his first wife, Martha, a full-blooded Cherokee. The couple had two children. He married his second wife, Shirley Collie, while he failed to achieve success in Nashville. Success came in 1978 when Willie started acting in movies.
Four wives and seven children later, Nelson was a Hollywood and cult icon, having worked with many film and music greats while building a unique musical legacy. There is not one major music award he has not won.
Nelson is a lifelong advocate of recreational marijuana use. Through several arrests and sentences, he has endeared himself to all Americans who support legalizing the herb and those who tout the medicinal benefits of smoking or ingesting pot (or pot products) to get high off the THC.
Still touring though almost 80, his most recent appearance at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tenn. had crowds up on their feet, dancing and cheering. How does he continue to perform so well and seem so happy?
Some blame the weed. Others think that he’s simply been blessed with good karma for rocking out eco-friendly.