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Willie Nelson's sister Bobbie dies at 91: Here's what happened to her sons

'Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place,' Willie wrote on his Instagram for his sister
UPDATED MAR 11, 2022
Bobbie Nelson was a beloved pianist and sister of Willie Nelson (Instagram/ @willienelsonofficial)
Bobbie Nelson was a beloved pianist and sister of Willie Nelson (Instagram/ @willienelsonofficial)

Bobbie Nelson, sister of Willie Nelson and also a member of his Family band, has died. She was 91 and breathed her last on Thursday, March 10, with her family by her side. In a statement shared on Instagram, Willie announced Bobbie’s death but did not give any details about the cause of death.

The statement accompanying the memorial photo read: “Bobbie Nelson passed away this morning, peacefully and surrounded by family. Bobbie was 91. Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place. She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer.”


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“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,” the statement added.


What happened to Bobbie Nelson’s sons?

Bobbie Nelson’s life journey was not as beautiful as it seemed from the outside. According to reports, she was just a teen when she tied the knot with aspiring musician Bud Fletcher, who started a band with her and her brother. But unfortunately, Fletcher died in a car accident in 1961, leaving her on her own with three young sons.

After his death, Bobbie began working as a secretary but she did not stay away from music for long and eventually reunited with her brother in 1973. The pair went on to produce some marvelous albums, like ‘Shotgun Willie,’ ‘Red Headed Stranger,’ and ‘The Willie Nelson Family’. “There's just no way to explain how lucky I am to have a good musician in the family. Whenever I've needed a piano player, I've had Sister Bobbie right there… Whenever our band plays, Sister Bobbie is the best musician on the stage,” Willie had said in 2018.

After returning to music, Bobbie again faced a personal crisis that almost broke her. In 1989, she lost two of her three sons within a period of six months. Michael died because of leukemia and Randy died in a car crash. Following the tragedy, she said, “Me and my three boys grew up together, and we had so much fun ... and then to lose two of your three babies, well, it's something you never get over. It taught me to never take life for granted.”

For most of her life, Bobbie worked alongside Willie, who is two years younger than her, and she was happy about it. But in 2008, Bobbie, who was 76 years old at the time, released her first solo album “Audiobiography,” which included “ten ragtime standards like ‘12 Street Rag’ and Willie’s ‘Crazy,’ reimagined as a lounge number.”

Bobbie’s death has left her fans devastated. Amanda Shires, singer-songwriter and fiddle player, tweeted, “Bobbie Nelson was one of the first women musicians that I ever saw on stage. She was the first example I had of a woman playing music while also having a family. I’m honored to have known her. My deepest sympathies to the Nelson family.” Country singer-songwriter, Margo Price, wrote, “Nobody played piano like Bobbie Nelson and nobody ever will. She was the epitome of class, grace and style and I’m sure gonna miss seeing her on stage next to @WillieNelson … my heart goes out to Willie and the family band.”





A user said, “My heart is breaking for @WillieNelson @BioAnnie2 ! I’m so sorry. I had my pedicure next to her twice and met her at the W after Tony Bennett and she was so sweet and kind! Luck Reunion won’t be the same without Little Sister.” Another one added, “Beyond sad. So grateful for all the love and music Bobbie Nelson shared with her friends and fans and family. Sister Bobbie you are forever in our hearts.”