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Willie Nelson Gives Big to Devastated West, Texas Area Following Explosion

Willie Nelson
Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Willie Nelson has made a lasting and memorable contribution to country music, solidifying his status as an icon. At 80, he continues to make himself known — not only in music, but also as a kind heart. The singer recently turned his birthday bash into a benefit for the victims of last month’s West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, and handing over a big check to go toward the relief efforts just this week.

Shotgun Willie raised more $120,000 following the tragedy, the Tennessean reports. A representative for the singer presented a check on Monday (May 13) for nearly $81,000 to the West Volunteer Fire Department. Most of that money was raised during Nelson’s Austin-area benefit concert.

In addition, approximately $40,000 was given to Nelson’s hometown of Abbott, which was also impacted by the blast. “There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there,” the singer says. “We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn’t.”

The ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance‘ icon certainly provided a vast amount of relief through his philanthropic and heartfelt giving, and his care for the people in the West, Texas area is tangible.

Adds Nelson, “But they’re strong and they’ll be back. It’s one of those things you don’t get over. But you will get through it.”

It doesn’t seem that the legendary singer will kick his feet up in a leisurely retirement anytime soon — after the release of a new album, Nelson is gearing up for the 2013 Taste of Country Music Festival this June and will keep up a busy touring schedule throughout the heat of the summer.

Next: Willie Gets an Honorary Doctorate

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