Bobbie Nelson, Willie Nelson’s sister and bandmate, dead at 91
Bobbie Nelson, sister of Willie Nelson and member of his Nelson Family Band, has died at age 91. “Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place," a statement from the Nelson family reads. "She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer. Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed. But we are so lucky to have had her in our lives. Please keep her family in your thoughts and give them the privacy they need at this time.”
Born on New Year's Day 1931 in Abbot, TX, Bobbie was two years Willie's senior and known as "Sister Bobbie" in the band. Having learned piano at an early age, she married musician Bud Fletcher in her teens and they formed a group together. After he died in a car accident, she gave up music but went to work as a secretary for the Hammond Organ Company. When her brother Willie began his country career, she joined his band and her piano playing graced most of Willie Nelson's classic albums, including 1973’s Shotgun Willie, 1975's Red Headed Stranger, 1978's Stardust, and more. In 2014 Willie and Bobbie released the album December Day, and in 2020 she released the memoir Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band.
Rest in peace, Bobbie.