Statue of Willie Nelson Will Be Unveiled in Austin Today

An 8-foot statue of country music legend Willie Nelson will be unveiled near the new Moody Theater in downtown Austin toady at 4:20. Today, 4/20, is a national day of protest for legalizing marijuana. But Capital Area Statues, the group that raised money for the statue, said that was a coincidence. Nelson is well-known as an advocate of legalizing marijuana.

The privately funded monument was made by Philadelphia sculptor Clete Shields, who said, “we wanted to get a timeless Willie, an ageless Willie.”

Nelson is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning, multimillion-album-selling musician who made a career of non-conformity. Nelson fused country music with jazz and rock in the early 1970s to create the “outlaw country” movement in Austin and helped give the city a reputation as a music city. His first major hit was 1961′s “Crazy,” which was recorded by Patsy Cline. Nelson has appeared in over 37 films and  founded the Farm Aid movement to help the family farmer.

The city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Austin Weird.”