Willie Nelson is an iconic figure in country music – one of the most loved and celebrated musicians. It’s no surprise that fans worldwide know his tracks by heart. This led us to wonder how many people know how he got his nickname Shotgun Willie.
The Texas troubadour is known to be one of the calmest and most gentle people in the industry – making it quite difficult to imagine him firing a gun at someone. But this wild story also proves that when the situation demands it, Nelson won’t think twice about doing it for a good cause.
The Fascinating Story of How Willie Nelson Got His Nickname Shotgun Willie
In 1973, Willie Nelson released “Shotgun Willie” as the title track to his sixteenth studio album, which marked the country singer’s change of style. He even said that the album “cleared his throat.” Unfortunately, the album sold poorly, yet it received good reviews and gained Nelson massive recognition with younger audiences.
Since then, many have wondered how he got that nickname – especially since the song seemed to tell an interesting story.
Luckily, the country legend opened up about his wilder days! In one interview, he finally revealed how he got his “Shotgun Willie” nickname. And it all started when he found out that his daughter Lana was being abused by her husband, Steve.
Being the doting father that he is, Nelson immediately drove to Lana’s place and taught his son-in-law a lesson to never lay a hand on his daughter again.
However, a few minutes after Nelson returned home, Steve came driving in his car and started firing at the singer’s house. So, what would Nelson do? He fired back! Shotgun Willie came out, pulling the trigger. Steve took one look and immediately fled.
And that’s how he earned the nickname!
You can listen to Willie Nelson’s “Shotgun Willie” in the video below.