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What I Know Now

Willie Nelson Speaks Out on Medical Marijuana, Barbra Streisand and More

Willie Nelson: What I Know Now

Willie Nelson, 81, country music singer-songwriter, actor and activist — exaggerating a little— “feels about 20.” — David McClister

Homegrown

En español | In this day of genetically modified food and growth hormones, the best solution is to shop at your local farmers market. Better still, find somewhere you can plant your own organic crops.

Two on the bus

Annie and I have been married since 1991 and found a way to make it work. Annie travels with me now. The longest I've been off the road is a month. That's why I've been married four times! It's too much to ask the wives to stay home while you're running around the world.

Ties that bind

I value family most. My sister, Bobbie, has been on the road with me for 50 years; my daughters Amy and Lana travel with me. When me and my sons, Micah and Lukas, play together, that's about as good as it gets.



Unlikely duo

I wanted to do a duet with Barbra Streisand for 20 years, and she finally had a song written for us. I met her on the set of A Star Is Born. Once, between scenes, she sat on the floor of my bus, and I sang to her. Kris Kristofferson couldn't understand why we got along so well, but I liked her!

Hat trick

I learned a lot from Leon Russell, who may be the best entertainer ever. He's the first guy I saw throw his hat into the audience. That's where I got the idea to do that. Ripped him off pretty good!

Move it or lose it

I don't feel 81. I feel about 20. I'm exaggerating a little, but I just got my fifth-degree black belt in [the Korean martial art] GongKwon Yusul. Every day I ride my bike or golf or ride my horses. I do calisthenics on the bus. So far it's working.



The power of positive thinking

When you think a negative thought, it releases poison in your system. Next thing you know, you wind up with cancer or other diseases. I try to live in the moment without regrets.

A toke a day keeps the doctor away

I'll probably take a couple of hits before or after the show tonight. It relaxes me, and the medicinal form of pot can cure everything from stress to cancer. It's a shame that it was thrown in with the other hard drugs. Now that the legalization has proven successful in Colorado and in Washington state, it's just a matter of time before it's legal everywhere. There's a lot of money to be made from it, number one.

Keepin' on

There's a song on my new album, Band of Brothers, called "I've Got a Lot of Traveling to Do." It's true. For years I've said, "This might be my last tour." But as long as I'm healthy and it's fun and people show up, I'd like to keep doing it. It's like the old saying, "Don't slow down — they might be gaining on you."

—Reported by Alanna Nash

Willie Nelson performs the acoustic version of Band of Brothers from his newest album.

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