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Stars Pay Tribute to Willie Nelson

April 16, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Keith Richards, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks are among the entertainers who pay tribute to singer Willie Nelson in an upcoming TV show taped at the Ryman Auditorium.

``Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars″ was taped in Nashville on Sunday. It is scheduled to air May 27 on the USA Network.

``This is the best jam session I’ve ever been a part of,″ the 68-year-old singer said.

He sang hits such as ``You Were Always on My Mind″ with his guests along with songs from his new disc, ``The Great Divide.″ The CD pairs him with an assortment of younger singers, ranging from Lee Ann Womack to R&B singer Brian McKnight, who both performed for the taping.

Rob Thomas, lead singer for matchbox twenty, wrote several songs on Nelson’s new album. He said Nelson’s music inspired him as a boy.

``People like Willie are why I started writing songs,″ he said. ``He’s such a legend.″

Jon Bon Jovi, who met Nelson nearly 20 years ago, said, ``Anybody who plays and sings, to Willie you’re an equal.

``But if you have any sense of being a man, you realize you’re not actually half as cool for half as long.″


On the Net:

Official Willie Nelson Web site: http://www.willienelson.com.

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