The legendary country musician Waylon Jennings left a tremendous legacy that would last for generations to come. A music lover since the age of 8, Waylon Jennings began performing as a disc jockey for various radio stations in his native Texas. In the early 60’s he formed his first rock band, The Waylors, and in the 70’s he joined the outlaw movement, which led him to work with one of the pioneers of the genre, Willie Nelson.
In the ’70s, Waylon Jennings enjoyed great success. His 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, which featured several country stars, was the first country album to go platinum. Waylon’s success continued into the late ’80s but then declined due to illness and cocaine addiction. During his career, Waylon Jennings released 45 studio albums and 49 other albums, including 28 compilation albums and 16 collaborations. He sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
Cause of Death
Waylon’s cause of death can be traced back to the mid-1960s when he was a cocaine addict. It got worse and worse over the years and even put a strain on his finances. At one point Waylon was spending up to $1,500 a day on cocaine and amphetamines. This soon led to a drug debt of $2.5 million, which he had to work hard to pay off. Cigarettes were not left out. Waylon smoked up to 6 packs of cigarettes a day. In the mid-1980s, he decided to get clean and detox with plans to use cocaine occasionally.
Waylon only began getting clean after his habit of reporting on his health began. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 1988, and in the early 1990s, he was diagnosed with diabetes. The new millennium arrived, and Waylon’s health deteriorated, requiring him to undergo a second operation on his leg. Jennings’ foot was later amputated in December 2001. On February 13, 2002, the musician died in his sleep – he was 64 years old. Waylon Jennings was laid to rest two days later at the Mesa City Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona. The funeral was honored by many greats of country music.
Waylon Jennings Wife and Son (Children)
Waylon Jennings was married four times and had a total of 6 children by his wives. From October 26, 1969, until his death, he was married to the country singer Jessi Colter. At the height of his drug addiction, Colter was about to divorce Waylon, but she changed her mind and divorced him years later.
Jessi Colter, born in Phoenix, Arizona, was born in Mirriam Johnson on May 25, 1943. The daughter of a race car driver’s father and a preacher’s mother, Colter grew up in a strict Pentecostal family. She began playing the piano in her local church at the age of 11 and from then on developed her music. Her love of music led her to cross paths with top guitarist Duane Eddy, whom she married in 1961. She made music with Eddy, and in 1968, after 7 years of marriage, they were divorced. They had a daughter named Jennifer.
She met Waylon Jennings in 1969, and after a stormy romance, they got married. Colder’s musical career, which hadn’t taken off for years, jumped into life shortly after her marriage to Waylon. After meeting Waylon, she took the stage name Jessi Colter, which was in honor of her great-grandfather Jesse Colter.
Together with Waylon, Colter had great success in the 1970s. She is best known for her 1975 country-pop crossover hit “I’m Not Lisa” and in April 2017 Colter published an investigative report about her life with Waylon. The book is entitled “An Outlaw and a Lady”: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith That Brought Me Home”.
Waylon and Colter had a son together. His name was Waylon Albright “Shooter” Jennings and he was born on May 19, 1979. Shooter followed in his father’s footsteps and made music in the lawless country genre. He has released at least 8 studio albums. Mr. Shooter has two children from his long relationship with actress Drea de Matteo. He married Misty Brooke Swain on June 4, 2013.
Among Waylon’s other five children from his previous marriages 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 produced an adopted child named Tomi Lynne.
Waylon Jennings’ outstanding figure was perhaps his most striking physical characteristic. He was just over six feet tall and weighed about 180 pounds. Waylon had an average build and his hair color was dark brown. He also had brown eyes.