Music

Remember When Willie Nelson Sang 'Amazing Grace' With Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter?

Willie Nelson, center, is shown on stage with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter, following the singing of "Amazing Grace," May 18, 1985 in Plains Ga. at Nelson's Plains Centennial Concert. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)

The audience members at Willie Nelson's concert at Chastain Park in Atlanta, Georgia in 2016 had no idea they were in for the treat of a lifetime. Nelson and longtime friend and collaborator Kris Kristofferson welcomed two honorary guests to the stage --former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter  joined the two for a rendition of "Amazing Grace."

Merle Haggard was originally billed to share the stage with Nelson for the Chasten Park show. After the country legend's passing, Kris Kristofferson joined the concert lineup, along with Haggard's two sons, Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard.

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Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are known to be huge Nelson fans, and were spotted braving the rain from the front row during the Atlanta show.

The nearly 7,000 fans in attendance cheered wildly and stood up to applause as the Carters walked on stage. Nelson started singing "Amazing Grace," and the Carters and Kristofferson joined in for an epic singalong. In the video, you can see the sea of fans recording the special moment on their phones.

When the song finished, the quartet received a standing ovation. The Carters shared their appreciation and were sure to shake the hands of the entire band before exiting the stage.

The 2016 surprise performance wasn't the first time the Carters performed with Nelson. The couple joined Nelson on stage during a 1985 concert in their hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Nelson famously visited the White House during President Carter's term. In a 2015 interview with GQ, the country legend confirmed the story that he smoked weed on the roof of the White House with an "insider," long rumored to be former President Carter's middle son Chip, now known as James Earl Carter III. (James Earl Carter III has never confirmed the story.)

"We were there, and there it was, and why not, you know?" Nelson said. "And they have a great view from the roof."

This article was originally published in 2016.

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Remember When Willie Nelson Sang 'Amazing Grace' With Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter?