Korina Lopez, USA TODAY
"West is like our backyard," Willie Nelson told CMT.
For Willie Nelson, the recent explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, hits close to home. The country music legend was born and raised in Abbott, about six miles from the blast site.
"West is like our backyard," Nelson told CMT Hot 20 Countdown's Terry Bumgarner in Nashville. "It's where I grew up. I rode my bike from Abbott to West and back all the time on that road where all this stuff happened."
He's using his star power to help the West Fire Department by turning his April 28 concert into a fundraiser. The show was originally intended to celebrate his 80th birthday.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of West," Nelson told CMT Crossroads. "There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there. We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn't. But they're strong and they'll be back. It's one of those things you don't get over. But you will get through it."
Officials have recovered a dozen bodies from the wreckage so far, including five members of the West Fire Department.