Ray Benson Coronavirus
Grammy award winning music producer Ray Benson speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 26, 2011, where music producers lobbied congress about intellectual property laws. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Ray Benson Has Recovered from COVID-19: 'I'm Back in the Saddle Again'


Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson says he's recovered from COVID-19 after announcing in March that he'd tested positive for the virus.

"I'm over that COVID-19 virus. I kicked the son of a gun and I'm back," Benson said in a video posted on the Willie's Roadhouse Twitter account.

Benson, who hosts Austin Outer Limits on the Sirius XM's Willie's Roadhouse, announced that he'd be back on air on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET.

"I'm back in the saddle again. I sure appreciate all the love and concern from all over the world," Benson said. "I was overwhelmed. Thank you."



Benson announced on Tuesday (March 31) that he tested positive the prior day for COVID-19 (coronavirus). The result came nine days after medical professionals sent Benson home because of a lack of testing supplies.

"Well folks, the bad news I've contracted the corona virus!!," the Western swing legend wrote on Facebook. "Been feeling tired for about 10 days! Went to be tested on the 21st! No tests so went home! Went back yesterday feelin the same tired out of it and they tested ... first call this mornin from lab sayin you got it!! Hoping for the best don't have the usual symptoms but feel tired head ache no fever no cough!!  I'll be ok sure do miss playin music and seein everyone! Stay well this sh*ts  serious!! I have been alone for the most part and wore mask washed hands used hand sanitizer still got it! Do not listen to right wing BS!"


Benson, age 69, has won nine Grammy awards as the leader of Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Benson and his band moved to Austin in 1973 at the behest of Willie Nelson. He's since become a Texas music icon and one of the most visible champions of his musical forerunner, Bob Wills.

Benson's news followed the March 29 passing of Joe Diffie. Others in the country music community to test positive for the coronavirus include Kalie Shorr, Laura Bell Bundy and John Prine. Prine passed away on April 7, 2020.


The Associated Press reports that public health officials still stress hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds and social distancing as ways to prevent the pandemic's spread and to protect older adults, people with pre-existing health problems and other high-risk populations.


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