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Heartbreak for Willie Nelson as his longtime drummer and best friend Paul English dies at 87


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Heartbreak for Willie Nelson as his longtime drummer and best friend Paul English dies at 87

  • The musician passed away at a Dallas hospital near his home on Tuesday surrounded by family, according to Nelson’s daughter Amy
  • English had recently suffered a bout of pneumonia 
  • He had inspired Nelson’s autobiographical road song Me & Paul 
  • Nelson, 86, will perform as planned Wednesday night in Melbourne, Florida, according to his publicist 
  • Nelson and English knew each other for more than 65 years. English first drummed for the singer on a radio show in 1955 and became his regular in 1966
  • Nelson regularly referred to English as his ‘best friend’ ad even named one of his daughters, Paula, after him 

Willie Nelson’s drummer and life-long friend Paul English has died at 87.

The musician, who inspired Nelson’s autobiographical road song Me & Paul, passed away at a Dallas hospital near his home on Tuesday surrounded by family, according to Nelson’s daughter Amy. 

English had recently suffered a bout of pneumonia.  

Willie Nelson’s drummer and life-long friend Paul English has died at 87

Nelson, 86, will perform as planned Wednesday night in Melbourne, Florida, according to his publicist.

Last month, Green Day drummer Tre Cool stepped in to perform with the country legend during a show at the Fillmore in San Francisco after English fell ill.

Nelson and English knew each other for more than 65 years. English first drummed for the singer on a radio show in 1955 and became his regular drummer in 1966. 

Lifelong pals: Nelson regularly referred to English as his 'best friend' ad even named one of his daughters, Paula, after him. They are seen here together on stage in 2016

Lifelong pals: Nelson regularly referred to English as his ‘best friend’ ad even named one of his daughters, Paula, after him. They are seen here together on stage in 2016

BFFs: Nelson and English knew each other for more than 65 years. English first drummed for the singer on a radio show in 1955 and became his regular drummer in 1966

BFFs: Nelson and English knew each other for more than 65 years. English first drummed for the singer on a radio show in 1955 and became his regular drummer in 1966

Nelson regularly referred to English as his ‘best friend’ ad even named one of his daughters, Paula, after him. 

English earned a reputation for brandishing a firearm and engaging in off-stage scuffles that made him an outlaw sideman as tough as Nelson himself. 

English was also known for wearing a black cape on stage, and one of his capes is currently on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the ‘Outlaws and Armadillos’ exhibit.

Nelson’s daughter Amy told Austin360:  ‘He always had our backs. He was like the co-patriarch of our family. Nobody can fill Paul’s shoes, ever.’ 

Fan of the Second Amendment: English earned a reputation for brandishing a firearm and engaging in off-stage scuffles that made him an outlaw sideman as tough as Nelson himself

Fan of the Second Amendment: English earned a reputation for brandishing a firearm and engaging in off-stage scuffles that made him an outlaw sideman as tough as Nelson himself

English had a storied career and interesting life in general as he was a procurer of sex work in the early 1960s according to his January 2015 profile in Oxford American as he said: ‘I started having girls at twenty-two.

‘I knew this girl, asked her if she’d like to work, went from there. I was a good pimp. 

‘I never did beat a girl. We called men who did that wimps. How you gonna beat them up to make them stay?’

He began his operation in the West Hills Inn resort in Euless, Texas before expanding to Dallas, Waco, then to the biggest city in the state: Texas. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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