Legendary country musician Waylon Jennings is behind a huge legacy that will live on for generations to come. Passionate about music since the age of 8, Waylon began performing as a disc jockey in various radio stations in Texas, his country of origin. He formed his first rock band, The Waylors in the early 60s and in the 70s he joined the Outlaw movement, which led him to collaborate with one of the pioneers of the genre, Willie Nelson.
Waylon Jennings enjoyed great success in the 70s. His 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws which featured several country stars was the first country album to go platinum. Waylon’s success continued through the late 1980s but subsequently faltered due to health issues and cocaine addiction. During his career, Waylon Jennings has released 45 studio albums and 49 other albums, including 28 compilation albums and 16 collaborations. He has sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
Cause of death
Waylon’s cause of death can be traced to the mid-1960s, when he developed a cocaine addiction. It got worse over the years and even took a toll on his finances. At one point, Waylon would spend up to $1,500 a day on cocaine and amphetamines. This quickly led to a $2.5 million drug debt that he had to work hard to clear. Cigarettes were not left out, Waylon smoked up to 6 packs of cigarettes a day. In the mid-1980s, he decided to clean up and detox by considering taking cocaine on an occasional basis.
Waylon only started cleaning up after his habit started talking about his health. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 1988 and in the early 90s was diagnosed with diabetes. The new millennium has begun and Waylon’s health has deteriorated, forcing him to undergo a second leg operation. Jennings had his foot amputated in December 2001. The musician died on February 13, 2002, when he was 64 years old. Waylon Jennings was buried two days later at Mesa City Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona. The funeral was graced by many country music personalities.
Waylon Jennings wife and sons (children)
Waylon Jennings was married four times and had a total of 6 children from his wives. He was married to country singer Jessi Colter from October 26, 1969 until her death. At the height of her drug addiction, Colter was set to divorce Waylon, but she changed her mind to let death interfere years later.
Jessi Colter, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, was born Mirriam Johnson on May 25, 1943. The daughter of a racing car father and a preaching mother, Colter was raised in a strict Pentecostal family. She started playing the piano in her local church from age 11 and developed her music from then on. Her love for music led her to cross paths with the talented guitarist Duane Eddy whom she married in 1961. She made music with Eddy and in 1968, after 7 years of marriage, they divorced. They had a daughter together named Jennifer.
She met Waylon Jennings in 1969 and after a whirlwind romance they got married. Colter’s music career, which hadn’t gained momentum in years, came back to life shortly after his marriage to Waylon. It was after meeting Waylon that she adopted the stage name Jessi Colter, in honor of her great-grandfather, Jesse Colter.
Along with Waylon, Colter enjoyed much success in the 1970s. She is best known for her 1975 country-pop crossover hit “I’m not Lisa.” In April 2017, Colter released a full memoir about his life with Waylon. The book is titled; “An Outlaw and a Lady: Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home.”
Waylon and Colter had a son together. Named Waylon Albright “Shooter” Jennings, he was born on May 19, 1979. Shooter followed in his father’s footsteps making music in the outlaw country genre. He has released at least 8 studio albums. Mr. Shooter has two children from his long-term relationship with actress Drea de Matteo. He married Misty Brooke Swain on June 4, 2013.
Waylon’s other five children from his previous marriages include; Terry Vance Jennings (born January 21, 1957), Julie Rae Jennings (born August 12, 1958), Buddy Dean Jennings (born March 21, 1960) and Deana Jennings, all from his first marriage to Maxine Caroll Lawrence. His second marriage to Lynne Jones resulted in an adopted child named Tomi Lynne.
Waylon Jennings’ towering figure was perhaps his most notable physical attribute. He was just over 6 feet tall and weighed around 80 kg. Waylon had a medium built body type and his hair color was dark brown. Also, he had brown eyes.