Just ahead of his 87th birthday late next month, the A&E Network will air Willie Nelson: American Outlaw, a concert special honoring the legendary entertainer with more than 20 never-before-televised performances. Taped in Nashville in January 2019, the two-hour special includes George Strait, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, and Norah Jones and the Little Willies.
Nelson, a Country Music Hall of Fame member since 1993, recently announced a pair of intimate concerts at the Hall of Fame and Museum’s CMA Theater on May 1st and 2nd. Willie Nelson: American Outlaw, which features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, premieres Sunday, April 12th, at 10 p.m. ET.
Just prior to the Nelson special, A&E will also premiere the first of two new country-music-related Biography installments, with a spotlight on the life and career of Dolly Parton. The two-hour documentary spans her 74-year journey from a hardscrabble childhood in east Tennessee to the entertainer’s recent 50th anniversary celebration as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Among those interviewed for the special are Chris Stapleton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. Biography: Dolly premieres Sunday, April 12th, at 8 p.m. ET.
The following night, one of Parton’s most celebrated duet partners will be in the spotlight for Biography: Kenny Rogers. The documentary chronicles his musical beginnings as frontman of late-Sixties pop-rock group the First Edition, and traces his rise to crossover success as the singer of such iconic songs as “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” and “Islands in the Stream,” his smash duet with Parton. The special also goes behind the scenes of Rogers’ 2017 farewell concert, during which dozens of his fellow artists paid tribute to Rogers. Biography: Kenny Rogers, featuring Reba McEntire, Lionel Richie, Jamey Johnson, and the members of Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum, premieres Monday, April 13th, at 9 p.m. ET.