With his long hair and bandanna, 66-year-old Willie Nelson is not your typical heartthrob, pretty-boy country singer in a cowboy hat and spangled shirt.
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His fans range from kids to octogenarians. He's made recordings with performers outside the country-music circle, including Ray Charles, Neil Young, Julio Iglesias and Carlos Santana. He recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime" with Leon Russell.
Nelson has more than 200 albums. "Teatro," his most recent, was recorded in a California studio that at one time was a Mexican movie theater. It was produced by Daniel Lanois - noted for his work with U2 and Bob Dylan.
Nelson was born in Abbot, Texas, to Ira and Myrle Nelson and raised, along with his sister Bobbie Lee, by his paternal grandparents. He got his first guitar when he was 6. The family was involved with the church and gospel music, and young Nelson listened to the radio - Grand Ole Opry, New Orleans jazz, big band music, Southern black blues and Western Swing, according to biographical information.