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Willie Nelson Returns to Stage at Fourth of July Picnic After Health Scare

Willie Nelson Returns to Stage at Fourth of July Picnic After Health Scare

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Willie Nelson is back on the road again.

Following weeks of concerns regarding unspecified health issues, the Country Music and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer made a Fourth of July return during his annual Fourth of July Picnic event. The event took place at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey, on Thursday.

Acts including Mavis Staples, Maren Morris, Bob Dylan and more appeared at the event.

Footage of Nelson’s return to the stage was shared on his social media pages. The “Always on My Mind” singer walked out to an explosion of cheers from the audience. Nelson waved at the adoring crowd as he made his way to the mic.

“He’s bbaaacccckkkkk,” the post read.

Two weeks ago, Nelson, 91, was reported via his social media to “not (be) feeling well.”

Per his physician’s orders, Nelson was advised to rest, forcing him to cancel performances in Georgia and North Carolina. Another performance in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was similarly scrapped a few days later.

Those attending Nelson’s Outlaw Road Show dates were treated instead to his band (dubbed Family), his son Lukas Nelson and special guests performing Nelson’s classics and other songs. Other scheduled performers, including Dylan, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Celisse, filled out sets in his absence.

In February, Nelson announced an “unprecedented” lineup including himself, Dylan, Plant, Krauss, John Mellencamp, Billy Strings, Brittney Spencer, Celisse and Southern Avenue among acts scheduled to play a run of two dozen North American dates through October.

“This year’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour promises to be the biggest and best yet with this lineup of legendary artists,” Nelson said at the time. “I am thrilled to get back on the road again with my family and friends playing the music we love for the fans we love.”

Nelson’s festival dates have evolved into one of North America’s most significant annual touring franchises for the past decade. Musicians including Chris Stapleton, Neil Young, Luke Combs, Van Morrison, ZZ Top, Eric Church, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, The Avett Brothers and many more have appeared.

Many of those acts celebrated Nelson’s improved health via Instagram comments.

“Yes! This makes my heart so happy. We must protect Willie at all costs,” Margo Price wrote.

Actress and singer Kate Hudson responded to the video of Nelson’s return with a trio of red heart emojis.

In 2023, Nelson was honored with a CBS-aired 90th birthday celebration from Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl featuring Nelson, Crow, Stapleton, Beck, Gary Clark Jr., Snoop Dogg, Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert, Dave Matthews, Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, Keith Richards and George Strait.

This isn’t the first time Nelson has been sidelined by health issues.

The singer nearly canceled his On the Road Again tour in August 2019 due to a “breathing problem.” After doctors addressed the issue one month later, the tour resumed.

Nelson’s 152nd album, “The Border,” was released from Sony’s Legacy Recordings on May 31.

The album’s lead single, a take on Rodney Crowell’s 2019 track “The Border,” is written as a tale of the life and times of a Texas border guard. It also features a who’s-who of iconic musicians and songwriters, including longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon (“Once Upon a Yesterday,” “What If I’m Out of My Mind,” “Kiss Me When You’re Through,” “How Much Does It Cost” and “Hank’s Guitar”).

Other collaborators include Larry Cordle and Erin Enderlin (“I Wrote This Song for You”); Crowell and Will Jennings (“Many a Long and Lonesome Highway”); Shawn Camp and Monty Holmes (“Made in Texas”); and Mike Reid (“Nobody Knows Me Like You”).

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Willie Nelson makes returns to the stage with Fourth of July Picnic after health concerns

Source: USA TODAY, Nashville Tennessean