Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson go back quite a ways, and, after Nelson was honored with an award bearing the name of his fellow songwriter this weekend, the two got a chance to share a stage.
Nelson was awarded the first ever Kris Kristofferson Award, a lifetime achievement honor from the Nashville Songwriters Association International. After Willie Nelson was given the award on Sunday night, he joined Kristofferson on stage at The Bluebird Cafe.
“I really thought I was there giving you an award,” Nelson joked with Kristofferson afterward during an interview on Nelson’s bus. “I had a great speech. Next time.”
The duo has a rich musical history together, The Canadian Press noted. They are both members of the Nashville Songwriters Associations’ Hall of Fame and, on Sunday, teamed up on hits like “Crazy” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”
After the ceremony, both Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson shared their mutual admiration for each other.
“If I had seen what’s happening right now before right now I would’ve thought I was dreaming because when I came to Nashville, Nashville was the most exciting place for a creative artist to be,” Kristofferson told the crowd. “And the people I hung around with were serious songwriters who were totally unselfish, and their hero and my hero was a guy that nobody else knew. It was Willie Nelson. He’s unlike anybody else.”
The longtime friends also shared another honor, Nashville’s News Channel 5 noted. Even though Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson were both born in Texas, they were made honorary Tennessee citizens by Governor Bill Haslam.