Paul English, the longtime drummer for Willie Nelson, died at the age of 87 on Tuesday (Feb. 11). Nelson’s publicist confirmed the news of English’s passing to Billboard.
A beloved member of Nelson’s road family since the ’60s, English first played a show with the country legend in 1955 before becoming his full-time drummer in 1966. He played with Nelson up until his death last night. Later in life, English and his younger brother, Billy, shared percussion duties.
According to Austin 360, the drummer died following a recent battle with pneumonia. He was surrounded by friends and family at a hospital near his home in Dallas according to Nelson’s daughter, Amy.