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Willie moved back home to Texas in 1972. He let his hair and his beard grow long, wrote and sang the way he wanted, and – after signing with Columbia Records and gaining complete creative control over his records in 1975 – brought his own band into the studio. His debut release for the label, The Red Headed Stranger, was a minimalist concept album, recorded at Autumn Sound Studios in a suburb of Dallas, with help from engineer Phil York. It was a huge hit, thanks in part to Nelson’s spare cover of Fred Rose’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” His brand of country – by then known as “Outlaw” – had become a sensation. Nelson would follow with LPs that revealed his versatility and wide-ranging interests, including collaborations with artists like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, and 1978’s Stardust, a collection of classic pop songs that sold four million copies, garnered him a new audience, and is still considered one of his best works.
Nelson’s awards are numerous, including 11 CMAs, 12 GRAMMYs, and 6 ACMs. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, received the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, and won the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize in 2015. In 2003, CMT placed him at No. 4 among the “Greatest Men of Country.” And, in 2008, his distinctive vocal style – once considered a deficit – earned him the No. 88 spot on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Born: April 29, 1933, Abbott, Texas
Source : https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/country-music/willie-nelson-biography/256