Willie Nelson took home one of the most important country categories at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 5), winning Best Country Album.
The 89-year-old county icon won for his album A Beautiful Time, which was up against stiff competition from some of the top artists in contemporary country. The other nominees were Luke Combs, Growin’ Up; Miranda Lambert, Palomino; Ashley McBryde, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville; and Maren Morris, Humble Quest.
Shania Twain took the stage to present the award, showing off flaming red locks that are a new look for the superstar. She seemed very pleased when she read Nelson’s name, giving a small gasp before announcing his big win.
Nelson was not on hand at the ceremony, so Twain accepted his award on his behalf, saying, “I love you, Willie.” Grammys host Trevor Noah also gave a shout out to Nelson, saying that he was watching at home.
A Beautiful Time is Nelson’s 72nd solo album, and he released it on his 89th birthday on April 29, 2022. The album is a mix of new songs and classic covers from artists including the Beatles and Leonard Cohen. Chris Stapleton and Rodney Crowell wrote one single from the project, “I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die,” which was also nominated for Best Country Song, an award that went to Cody Johnson’s “‘Til You Can’t.” Nelson also took home Best Country Solo Performance for “Live Forever” in the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Lambert led the 2023 Grammy Awards country nominees with four, while Combs, Morris and Nelson each had three. Brandi Carlile had a whopping seven nominees across genres, and Zach Bryan, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Brothers Osborne and more were among the other country nominees.
The 65th Grammy Awards aired live on CBS, and it also streamed live and Paramount+, where it will be available to stream afterward. Several winners in other country categories were announced during the Grammy Premiere Ceremony, which aired online on Sunday afternoon.