Willie Nelson Using Birthday Concert to Benefit West, Texas Victims
There are many country music artists who are reeling from the recent tragic explosion in West, Texas at the West Fertilizer Co. It hits especially close to home for the iconic Willie Nelson, as the accident happened in a town six miles south of his hometown of Abbott, Texas. The legend taking action and turning his 80th birthday celebration into a benefit concert for the West Volunteer Fire Department.
He tells CMT, “West is like our backyard. It’s where I grew up. I road my bike from Abbott to West and back all the time on that road where all this stuff happened.”
“There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there. We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn’t,” he adds. “But they’re strong and they’ll be back. It’s one of those things you don’t get over. But you will get through it.”
The Country Music Hall of Fame member tweeted the information about the benefit concert, saying, “The previously scheduled concert on 4/28 at @thenewbackyard will now benefit West VFD. Details to come soon.”
Nelson is rallying his whole Family band for the show, and they’re working together to create some hope. “I’ll be there, and my son Lukas, my son Micah and daughters Paula and Amy,” the icon says. “We’ll all be there doing a benefit show now. Until today, it was set up as a birthday show. But since the West tragedy happened, we decided to start a benefit there and let other people join in. If they want to donate to the West Volunteer Fire Department, they can do so. That’s where our proceeds are going to go on that day.”
It certainly is a shocking and horrific tragedy. The latest in the West, Texas explosion updates is that 35 people are believed to have been killed, and that number includes five members of the West Volunteer Fire Department, four EMS workers and an off-duty Dallas firefighter who pitched in to help. The search for survivors continues, although the outcome appears bleak.
All of the actions that people are taking — including Nelson’s thoughtful concert on April 28 — are working to send love and support to the tiny town of West.