Willie Nelson Sweetly Opened Up About His Marriage of 31 Years to Wife Annie D'Angelo

She's there for him.

Willie Nelson and Annie D'Angelo attend Hard Rock International's Wille Nelson Artist Spotlight Benefit Concer at Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square on June 6, 2013 in New York City
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Country legend Willie Nelson, 90, just opened up about his relationship with wife Annie D'Angelo, 66, and it sounds like they've really created a special bond over their 31 years together.

"I call her my pet rattler," Nelson quipped in a new interview with People. "She's my lover, my wife, nurse, doctor, bodyguard."

One reason Nelson and D'Angelo's marriage is so strong is that they always remember to laugh a lot together.

"As they say, laughter's the best medicine," the singer said. "I've always enjoyed a good joke."

At Nelson's recent 90th birthday, Nelson and D'Angelo's two sons, Lukas, 34, and Micah, 33, sang on stage with their dad.

"We've got a couple of great kids," he tells People now. "I am proud of them and all they're doing on their own. It's great to have your kids with you at any time, but if they're on the stage singing with you and they're good, that makes it even better."

Nelson also has several kids from previous relationships: Lana, 69, Susie, 66, Paula, 53, and Amy, 49. His daughter Renee died in 2017 at the age of 64, and his son Billy died by suicide at 33, as reported by People.

Before D'Angelo, Nelson was married to Martha Matthews, Shirley Collie Nelson, and Connie Koepke. He and D'Angelo, a makeup artist, met on the set of his movie Stagecoach in 1986, while he was still married to Koepke. "My love for Annie was all-consuming, but winning her over wasn't easy," Nelson wrote in one of his memoirs (via People). "She had to be sure my marriage was over and that I was truly free."

Nelson and Koepke divorced in 1988, and he and D'Angelo welcomed their two sons shortly after, before tying the knot in 1991.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.