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Texas fertilizer disaster: Willie Nelson to hold benefit concert

April 18, 2013|By Devin Kelly
  • A firefighter surveys the remains of a fertilizer plant destroyed by an explosion in West, Texas.
A firefighter surveys the remains of a fertilizer plant destroyed by an… (LM Otero )

The day after a fertilizer plant exploded in central Texas, killing at least 11 people and injuring more than 160, country music icon Willie Nelson announced he would hold a benefit concert for the victims.

Nelson was born about five miles from the site of the disaster in West, Texas. 

“West has been in my backyard all my life,” Nelson tweeted Wednesday night. “My heart is praying for the community that we call home.”

Nelson still keeps a house in his birthplace,  Abbott, Texas.

Proceeds from the show, scheduled for April 28 in Austin, will benefit the West Volunteer Fire Department, according to a statement Nelson released Thursday. The 11 confirmed dead were all first-responders. 

Nelson's concert had been scheduled as a celebration for his 80th birthday on April 29, his representative, Elain Schock, told the Los Angeles Times. Now, relief efforts and messages of resilience will be added.

 “Willie is a Texan and he weathers everything,” Schock said. “They prevail.”

Nelson is directing fans to his website,, for additional information on how to make donations to benefit relief efforts in West.


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