Willie Nelson has eight children, including a daughter whom he only recently found out about in 2012. Nelson has two children with current wife Annie D’Angelo and five from his previous marriages, as well as a daughter with a close friend he had relations with many years ago.
His children include: Lana, Susie, and Willie “Billy” Hugh Jr. from his first marriage, Paula and Amy from his third, and Lukas and Jacob “Micah” from his fourth and current marriage to D’Angelo. Nelson also revealed in his autobiography Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die that he had fathered another daughter, Renee, with his close friend Mary Haney several decades ago.
Here’s what we know about Nelson’s children:
Willie “Billy” Hugh Jr. Committed Suicide in 1991
Nelson’s eldest son Billy committed suicide by hanging in 1991, according to People. Billy was found dead in his log-cabin home in Davidson County, Tennessee on Christmas Day. Nelson said that he’d “never experienced anything so devastating” in his life than losing a child.
Shortly before Billy’s death, Nelson and Billy had recorded a duet together, singing “My Body’s Just a Suitcase for My Soul.” Nelson released the collaborated gospel album, titled Peace in the Valley, in 1994 in honor of his late son. Billy was planning on releasing the album himself before his death.
Lana Had a Part in Nelson’s Film Red Headed Stranger & Susie Penned a Memoir About Being Nelson’s Daughter
Lana, Nelson’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, played a small part in Nelson’s 1986 film Red Headed Stranger; she also worked in the costume department. Nelson frequently talks about Lana on social media and often tags her in photos.
Susie penned a memoir about her experiences as Nelson’s daughter. The book, which was published in 1987, is titled Heart Worn Memories: A Daughter’s Personal Biography of Willie Nelson. She currently co-hosts “Susie’s Gospel Hour” with her dad on his Sirius XM channel, Willie’s Roadhouse, according to Classic Country Music.
Paula & Amy Are Both Musicians
Paula and Amy are both musicians, like their father. Paula was born while Nelson was still married to his second wife, which led to their divorce. Nelson then married Paula’s mother Connie Koepke, who later gave birth to Amy Lee.
Paula has released five of her own albums with the Paula Nelson Band including Under the Influence in 2014, according to Wide Open Country. She is also well known for her duet with Nelson, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” from his 2013 album To All the Girls, and she hosts her own show on the Outlaw Country channel on Sirius XM.
Amy is part of the Texas musical group with Cathy Guthrie called Folk Uke, has released two albums, and can often be seen singing with her father on stage.
Micah & Lukas Both Have Their Own Bands
Micah and Lukas, Nelson’s two youngest children with wife Annie D’Angelo, both toured with their father and have sang on stage with him on several occasions, which they credit as their inspiration to pursue their own music careers, according to Country Fancast. Micah and Lukas both started their own bands.
Lukas’ band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, is based in California. Since their debut EP, Brando’s Paradise Sessions, they’ve seen some serious success and Lukas even played Bradley Cooper’s lead guitarist in the 2018 film A Star Is Born. According to Wide Open Country, he was Cooper’s voice coach and helped co-write many of the songs in the movie.
Meanwhile, Micah heads the band Particle Kid and has toured with his father and his brother on and off for several years. According to Country Fancast, Micah said his father was his inspiration to start his own band. “He was breaking down barriers and fearlessly doing his thing … For me, to fearlessly do my thing and be myself, I can’t think of any other way to respect and honor my dad’s legacy.”
Nelson Revealed in His Autobiography That He Fathered Another Child, Who He Didn’t Know About Until 2012
According to Nelson’s autobiography, he found out about his daughter Renee in 2012. “I have an old, dear friend Mary Haney, who I’d lost touch with but recently met again after decades,” he said. “Turns out Mary and I had a child together called Renee. It also turns out Renee has a daughter, Noelle, who has a daughter, Jordan, who I am happy to now call my great-granddaughter.”
He called Mary a “sweet lady” and said he and his wife are happy to have Renee, Noelle and Jordan in their lives. “Our only regret is that we didn’t find out about all these female relatives for so long. I consider them as much a part of Willie Nelson and Family as I do my other children. They’ve all met now and we’re even talking about spending our first Christmas all together. Ain’t that something?”
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