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Willie Nelson, 91, concerns fans after sharing statement about his health 'per doctor's orders'

The country music legend pulled out of his performance at Outlaw Music Festival

willie nelson 2012© Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
June 22, 2024
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Willie Nelson sent fans on an emotional rollercoaster after sharing a statement about his health. 

The 91-year-old's dedicated followers were left concerned for his well-being after he pulled out of his performance at Outlaw Music Festival "per doctor's orders". 

While no details were given about his ailment, it was revealed that Willie has been ordered "to rest". 

willie nelson performing on stage© Getty Images
Willie has been ordered to rest for four days

A statement on X (formerly Twitter) read: "We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson is not feeling well and, per doctor's orders, has been advised to rest for the next four days. 

"He is expected to make a quick recovery and join the Outlaw Music Festival tour next week. In the meantime, Lukas Nelson and the Family Band, along with a few guests, will perform a special set to include Willie's classics and other songs." 

The statement added: "Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, & Alison Krauss and Celisse will continue to perform as scheduled." 

His followers were quick to react, with many admitting they panicked over the choice of words used to break the news. 

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA - MAY 15: Willie Nelson performs in concert at Pinewood Performing Arts on May 15, 2024 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for Shock Inc)© Getty Images
Willie pulled out of his performance at Outlaw Music Festival

"You can not just start a tweet with 'We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson'," one replied. 

A second said: "Professionally speaking, if he is gonna be ok, do not start off with we regret to inform you about a 91 year old." 

A third added: "Jesus you scared the heck out of us." A fourth penned: "You could have just removed the first line and spared us all from the heartbreak." 

Willie Nelson smiling© Getty Images
Willie has had health issues before

In 2019, Willie was forced to cancel a tour after revealing he had "a breathing problem", which forced him to quit smoking.

"I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful," he told San Antonio TV station KSAT. 

He added: "I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever. And that almost killed me. I don't smoke anymore – take better care of myself." 

willie nelson on stage smiling© Getty Images
Willie still smokes cannabis

Despite packing in cigarettes, Willie "has not quit cannabis", his rep confirmed at the time. 

Willie previously admitted that he thinks smoking cannabis is "a good medicine and I'm glad that it's being accepted around the country, and I'll be glad when every state in the union legalizes it, because I think it will be healthy for everybody". 

In 2020, Willie revealed how he tries to keep himself healthy after admitting he "didn’t ever think I’d get this old". 

Willie Nelson in 1970© Getty Images
Willie has been making music for over 70 years

"Having no fear is a pretty good thing," The "On the Road Again" singer told Slate. "I still try to do a little workout every day just to pay for the day. That's what I call it: You have to do something to pay for the day." 

He added: "So I'll get up and do a little walking or jogging or whatever, just enough to keep the heart going."

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