Willie Nelson statue unveiled in downtown Austin

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by KVUE News

kens5.com

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:01 PM

AUSTIN -- Country legend Willie Nelson was honored in Austin Friday afternoon with a bronze statue.

The sculpture of the singer-songwriter was unveiled just before at 4:30 p.m. at 301 Willie Nelson Boulevard. The larger than life creation stands over eight feet tall and weighs more than a ton.

Nelson's carefree attitude helped give Austin its music reputation. So much so, the city decided to give back. Three years ago, Capitol Area Statues commissioned sculptor Clete Shields to capture Nelson's spirit in a sculpture.

"It's a challenge to try and embody what everyone thinks they know of Willie," explained Shields. "When they think of him in their mind's eye that's what I wanted to capture."

Friday, the finished product arrived in Austin, along with Nelson himself. Close to a thousand visitors packed downtown for the occasion. The big moment didn't disappoint. Standing eight feet high and weighing close to a ton, the bronze statue shows Nelson as he's known to millions of fans -- a friendly smile, his favorite guitar by his side.

To the delight of fans, Nelson sang a couple of songs in an impromptu performance. He is in town for a Johnny Cash tribute concert Friday night.

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