Willie Nelson Wins "Best Country Solo Performance" for "Live Forever" At The 65th Annual Grammy Awards

Article Contributed by New West Records | Published on Monday, February 6, 2023

Willie Nelson was awarded “Best Country Solo Performance” for his rendition of Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever” at last night’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards. The song is the opening track of the critically acclaimed album Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver which was released last year on New West Records & Pedernales Records. The 12-song set was co-produced by Charlie Sexton & Freddy Fletcher and featured renditions of Shaver songs lovingly recorded by George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ryan Bingham and Nikki Lane, Steve Earle, Edie Brickell, Rodney Crowell, Margo Price (featuring Joshua Hedley), Allison Russell, and Amanda Shires in addition to Nelson.
Upon its release, Nelson, who once stated “Billy Joe Shaver is definitely the best writer in Texas,” said  “He was just real; there wasn’t one phony drop of blood in him.”
The Texas singer-songwriter who died on October 28th, 2020 was an integral member of the Outlaw Country movement. A favorite among music legends, Johnny Cash once called Shaver “my favorite songwriter.” AllMusic called Shaver’s songs “among the greatest in the whole history of the (country) genre” while the Washington Post said, “When the country outlaws were collecting their holy writings, Billy Joe Shaver was carving out Exodus.”
From his album liner notes, co-producer Freddy Fletcher wrote of Shaver, “His influence on the greatest of artists is what inspired this project. The album is a testament to his words and their deep impact on wonderful songwriters and performers. He’s a hero to so many, and we are honored to pay homage to his legacy.” About the Grammy Award win, Fletcher said, “Nothing makes us happier than knowing how happy Billy Joe would be right now to have his legacy honored. He is beyond deserving. It’s about damn time.”
On the topic of songwriting, Billy Joe Shaver once said “when you write songs, and you write good songs, people will always remember you. Words will always outlive us. And if your name is attached to those words, you’re gonna live forever.”
Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver is available NOW via NEW WEST RECORDS.