Bobbie Nelson — a pianist, singer and the sister of nation music icon Willie Nelson — has died. She was 91.
Nelson died Thursday morning “peacefully and surrounded by household,” in line with an obituary supplied to USA TODAY. No explanation for loss of life was given.
“Her elegancy, grace, magnificence and expertise made this world a greater place,” in line with a household assertion shared to Willie’s official Fb account.
“Our hearts are damaged and he or she will likely be deeply missed,” Nelson’s household continued. “However we’re so fortunate to have had her in our lives. Please hold her household in your ideas and provides them the privateness they want right now.”
Born January 1, 1931, Nelson grew up together with her brother Willie in Abbot, a small city in Texas, and was launched to music at a younger age by her grandparents.
“My grandfather had mentioned to me once I was studying to play the piano: ‘You recognize, for those who actually work at this, you may earn your residing enjoying music in the future,’ ” Bobbie mentioned. “And I by no means forgot that.”
Her grandfather was proper, however it could take a while. As an adolescent, Nelson performed in a band with Willie, her father Ira Nelson and husband Bud Fletcher, however ended up leaving to take enterprise faculty lessons after her husband died in a automobile accident, leaving her a single mom to their three younger sons.
However Nelson saved up her music expertise, touchdown a job out of enterprise faculty demonstrating organs on the Hammond Organ Firm. She finally labored as a pianist in eating places, lounges and golf equipment.
“It was a superb factor, as a result of I used to be again actually enjoying music once more, not simply demonstrating and promoting organs,” she mentioned. “I used to be very comfortable to have the ability to sit down and simply play from my coronary heart and soul.”
In 1972, Willie invited Nelson to affix his iconic Household Band, the place she turned a key fixture of his stage reveals and albums.
“I used to be simply so comfortable to be enjoying music with Willie once more,” she mentioned.
Extra lately, Nelson performed alongside her brother on the 2021 album “The Willie Nelson Household,” and the siblings additionally collaborated on the memoir “Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Household Band,” revealed in September 2020 by Random Home.
“My little sister was all the time on the piano doing nice music,” Willie mentioned in a joint interview with Nelson on “At present” on the time of the memoir’s launch. “I might sit there on the piano stool beside her and check out to determine what the hell she was doing.”
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Nelson, in flip, claimed that “Willie has probably the most musical expertise of us each; he was simply born with it.”
Willie took exception. “Sister Bobbie is 10 instances a greater musician than I’m,” he mentioned. “I’m just a little higher con man I believe,” he added, to laughter throughout and Bobbie’s fast affirmation: “He’s a terrific con man!”
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Contributing: Peter Blackstock, Austin American-Statesman