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Paul English, Willie Nelson’s long-time drummer, is dead, the singer’s publicist confirmed to Fox News. He was 87.
Nelson’s rep had no details about the anniversary of the death Wednesday of the month.
The English, joined Nelson’s band, the surname of the Family in 1966, and stayed with him for most of his career. The English have a reputation for brandishing a firearm and for engaging in off-stage interaction with him, one she considered to be a challenge for Nelson.
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NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 03: Paul English of the Willie Nelson & Family perform during the Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour 2011 at the Woods in Fontanel on June 3, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
He was the inspiration for Nelson’s song “Me and Paul.” Nelson, sang about their adventures in the melody of the song, with lyrics like: “And at the airport in Milwaukee, They refused to let us board the plane at all They said we looked suspicious, But I don’t think they like to pick on me and Paul.”
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The English were also known for wearing a black cape on the podium, and in one of his capes, it is currently on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum “by the Police, and Armadillos show.
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According to Rolling Stone magazine, Nelson’s 2015 re-registered, with the caption: “It’s kind of a Long Story: My Life,” the 86-year-old described the English as “wild, street-smart, Paul … that’s always had my back, and I have more scraps than I care to remember.”
Fox News’ Jessica, Florence, and The Associated Press contributed to this report