Willie Nelson Explains Why He Will Never Quit

Willie Nelson isn't ready to quit, or even slow down. The 85-year-old, who recently had to cancel a show due to ongoing health issues, insists he still has plenty more he wants to do – and he fully intends to do it all.

"I don't really think that my attitude has changed. I don’t do what I don’t want to do, but if I want to do it, get out of the goddamn way because I’m going to do it!" Nelson tells AARP. "And I suggest everyone have an attitude similar.”

Nelson started playing guitar when he was just six years old, and learned early on that he wanted to do things on his terms – a belief that has carried him through the last eight decades.

“It wouldn’t do any good to tell me anything because I was too stubborn to listen,” insists Nelson. “And I knew that. We all go through periods when we feel like we have to follow our gut and do what we feel is right at the time when everybody else might think it’s dumb.”

The octogenerian also offers sage advice for others who find themselves struggling, in any area of their life.

“A negative thought will kill you. So if you’re even thinking negative you’ve got to change that first," admonishes Nelson. "It ain't easy, unless you think it's easy. Then you're in trouble. If you wake up knowing that this is going to be a hard day today because you've got work to do, people to talk to, things to do, you'll make it."

Nelson abruptly walked off the stage in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday night (May 26), due to illness. This wasn't the first time this year he fell ill; in January, Nelson sang one song at a concert in California before he had to cancel the show, later canceling the remainder of his tour dates in February, due to needing to completely recover from the flu before he resumed life on the road.

The singer has rescheduled his Charlotte show for June 20, which is his next concert listed on his website. Find a list of all of his upcoming shows at WillieNelson.com.


Nelson's latest album, Last Man Standing, was released on April 27. The record marked Nelson's 67th studio album, and was written entirely by Nelson and his longtime producer, Buddy Cannon, except for two songs on the deluxe edition, which Nelson wrote by himself.

Photo Credit: Instagram/willienelsonofficial