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Watch Willie Nelson Perform 'Me And Bobby McGee'

Willie Nelson performs with Kris Kristofferson. (YouTube)closemore
Willie Nelson performs with Kris Kristofferson. (YouTube)

2016 has brought a ceaseless string of tributes to beloved musicians who've just died. So do yourself a favor and set aside a few minutes to watch this celebration, in which one living legend pays tribute to another.

Austin City Limits is about to close the year with a New Year's Eve episode honoring Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and the late B.B. King, and for the Kristofferson tribute, they bring out Willie Nelson to perform one of his friend's signature songs, "Me And Bobby McGee."

Popularized by Janis Joplin in 1971, the song has experienced countless reinventions and reiterations since it was first recorded two years earlier. Here, it's stripped down to its powerful essence, as Nelson and his trusty harmonica player Mickey Raphael perform it before the delighted eyes of Kristofferson himself.

The Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year's Eve Special airs Saturday on PBS. Hosted by national treasures Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, the event also features performances by Mavis Staples, Taj Mahal, Gary Clark Jr., Rodney Crowell, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and others.

Copyright NPR 2017.

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