As unlikely as it might initially seem, Willie Nelson‘s pretty much a shoo-on for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, we learned he’s one of this year’s nominees.
“Really, if you think about it, he and Waylon [Jennings] created outlaw country. What is that?” Jason Hanley from the Rock Hall asks. “That’s country that looks to rock ‘n’ roll as an influence. So it’s almost like country helped birth rock ‘n’ roll. And then Willie and the gang looked back at rock ‘n’ roll and said, ‘We need to bring that spirit back into country.’ And that’s what you get.”
Hanley also points to Willie’s collaborations with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Sheryl Crow, and Ray Charles as another reason he’s worthy of the hallowed ranks.
“He’s been an artist who hasn’t stayed in his own lane, and has never been about that,” Hanley tells ABC Audio. “He wants to break out. In many ways, I think he maybe is the one of the most kind of rock ‘n’ roll country artists you’re gonna get.”
You can weigh in now online.The inductees will be announced in May, with the ceremony itself set to take place in the fall.
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