Bobbie Nelson, the sister of Texas country music star Willie Nelson passed away Thursday morning, according to the Nelson family.
Nelson died at the age of 91 "peacefully and surrounded by family."
Nelson was the first member of Willie's band, as a pianist and singer, said the Nelson family. She also worked as a co-author on the siblings' memoir "Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band."
"Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place," said the announcement. "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."
From the Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bobbie Nelson, the older sister of country music legend Willie Nelson and longtime pianist in his band, has died, her family said. She was 91.
An original member of the Willie Nelson and Family Band, Bobbie Nelson played piano for more than 50 years with her brother. She died Thursday “peacefully and surrounded by family,” the Nelson family said in a statement. A cause and location of her death were not released.
“Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place,” the Nelson family said. “She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer. Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed.”
Raised in Abbott, Texas, Bobbie Nelson played honky-tonks alongside her brother but gave up playing music to attend business college after her husband, Bud Fletcher, died. Her first job out of college was at the Hammond Organ Company where she worked in the company’s music library and demonstrated the company’s organs, the Nelson family said.
“That was a good experience for me, too, because I had so much music at my fingertips,” Bobbie Nelson told The Associated Press in a 2007 interview. “I was like a little child in a candy store.”
“Our whole life has been one song after another,” she said, “learning to play music and his beautiful ability to write songs. I love to play his music. It’s actually my favorite thing in the world to play with Willie.”
Her debut album, “Autobiography” was released in 2007. She collaborated with her brother on two books: “Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of The Family Band” and a children’s book called “Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music.”