Willie Nelson Cancels Outlaw Music Festival Shows on ‘Doctor’s Orders’ | Us Weekly

June 22, 2024

Willie Nelson Cancels Show on Doctors Orders
Willie Nelson Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Country music legend Willie Nelson canceled several appearances at the traveling Outlaw Music Festival on “doctor’s orders.”

“We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson is not feeling well and, per doctor’s orders, has been advised to rest for the next four days,” Nelson’s team shared via his account on X on Friday, June 21. “In the meantime, [Willie Nelson’s son] Lukas Nelson and the Family Band will perform a special set to include Willie’s classics and other songs.”

The 91-year-old singer behind such hits as “On The Road Again” and “Seven Spanish Angels” missed a performance in Alpharetta, Georgia, and will also sit out two North Carolina stops in Raleigh and Charlotte. Nelson’s team expects him to rejoin the festival next week.

The traveling festival also boasts Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp and Billy Strings as headliners. The fest started in 2016 and is curated by Nelson. Friday’s Alpharetta show was the launch of the 2024 edition, which will run through September.

“This year’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour promises to be the biggest and best yet with this lineup of legendary artists,” Nelson said of this year’s lineup on the festival’s website. “I am thrilled to get back on the road again with my family and friends playing the music we love for the fans we love.”

Nelson has been sidelined by health scares in the past. He very nearly canceled the 2019 tour due to a “breathing problem.” However, those dates were merely postponed to later in the year after Nelson assured fans he was “resting and getting better.”

Nelson recently shared a duet with gay, masked country singer Orville Peck in honor of Pride Month. The pair covered Ned Sublette’s queer country classic “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other” for Peck’s forthcoming duets album, Stampede.

Nelson is outwardly fond of duets, having released two entire albums of them with fellow outlaw country legends Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard and ridden several superstar duets to the top of the country music charts (1983’s “Pancho and Lefty” with Haggard, 1984’s “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” with Julio Iglesias and 1984’s “Seven Spanish Angels” with Ray Charles). Peck said that the Sublette cover was Nelson’s idea.

“Willie kept talking about how the subject matter in this song was more important than ever,” Peck told Rolling Stone. “It is so encouraging to have real allies like Willie that aren’t afraid to stand proudly next to us.”

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