Bobbie Nelson, Bandmate and Sister of Willie Nelson, Dies at 91

Bobbie Nelson, bandmate and sister of country music icon Willie Nelson, has died at the age of 91. Bobbie spent decades performing with her brother as a singer and piano player. The sad news of her death was shared by The Nelson family in a Facebook post.

"From The Nelson Family: Bobbie Nelson passed away this morning, peacefully and surrounded by family. Bobbie was 91," the statement reads. "Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place. She was the first member of Willie's band, as his pianist and singer. Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed. But we are so lucky to have had her in our lives. Please keep her family in your thoughts and give them the privacy they need at this time."

The siblings first began playing music together when they were kids in Abbot, Texas. They continued to be bandmates and musical collaborators throughout their lives, touring and recording together for many years. The pair even worked on two books with one another: Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of The Family Band, a memoir published by Random House in 2020 and Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music, a children's book published by Doubleday in 2021.

Following the news of Bobbie's death, many have taken to social media to pay tribute to the longtime country musician. "Bobbie Nelson was one of the first women musicians that I ever saw on stage. She was the first example I had of a woman playing music while also having a family," tweeted singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, of The Highwomen. "I'm honored to have known her. My deepest sympathies to the Nelson family."

"It was a honor to be in her midst the few times I had the privilege," singer Deborah Allen wrote in a comment on the death announcement post. "Her aura of gentleness and love radiated like a soft, bright comforting light. My heart and prayers are with Bobbie's family who I know will miss her loving presence the most. God Bless you all. Rest In Sweet Heavenly Peace Bobbie... I know your happy and playing that ol' Upright piano, 'cause I can hear the angels singing."

"Nobody played piano like Bobbie Nelson and nobody ever will. She was the epitome of class, grace and style and I'm sure gonna miss seeing her on stage next to [Willie Nelson]," country star Margo Price tweeted. "My heart goes out to Willie and the family band."