Bobbie Nelson, Willie Nelson's Sister and Bandmate, Dies at 91

Bobbie and Willie Nelson
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The siblings played music together for more than five decades.

Willie Nelson's older sister and longtime bandmate has died. Bobbie Nelson passed away on the morning of Thursday, March 10, "peacefully and surrounded by family," according to a statement from the Nelson family that Willie posted to Instagram. She was 91.

"Her elegance, grace, beauty and talent made this world a better place," the statement reads. "She was the first member of Willie’s band, as his pianist and singer."

"Our hearts are broken and she will be deeply missed. But we are so lucky to have had her in our lives," the statement continues. "Please keep her family in your thoughts and give them the privacy they need at this time."

Bobbie was an original member of the Willie Nelson and Family Band, and played with her brother for more than five decades. Willie often referred to Bobbie as "little sister," though she was two years his senior.

"My little sister was always on the piano doing great music," Willie told the Today show in 2020. "I would sit there on the piano stool beside her and try to figure out what the hell she was doing… Sister Bobbie is 10 times a better musician than I am."

Willie and Bobbie teamed up for two books, a 2020 memoir, Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band, and a 2021 children's book, Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music.

Bobbie released her debut solo album, Autobiography, in 2007.