SAN ANTONIO, TRXAS (CNN Newsource) — Beset with health issues related to his many years of smoking — country music icon Willie Nelson says he’s quit.
For Nelson, there’s nothing better than stepping out onto the stage, “It’s an energy exchange. They give me a lot of good positive energy and I hope I’m giving positive energy. And for an hour they get away from everything they don’t like.”
Still performing at 86, he said it keeps him in shape, “Singing out there for an hour is a good workout. Your lungs are the biggest muscle you got. So when you’re out there working, you are working out.”
Years of smoking marijuana, he admits, has taken its toll on his lungs, “I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past. So breathing is a little more difficult these days that I have to be careful, I’ve mistreated myself since I was this big. I started out smoking cedar bark and it went from that to cigarettes or whatever. And that almost killed me.”
It didn’t. So he made a decision to not smoke anymore. “I take better care of myself today than I did then,” said Nelson.
His health issues have prompted rumors that he’s near death. Struggling to stay alive. His signature song “On the Road Again” says it all.
“I love this. But, this is my home,” said Nelson.