At 73, Kristofferson still has "It" - the charismatic swagger, the blue eyes that see the world with unflinching truth, the ability to tell gritty, haunting stories set to song, like "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down, " "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and "Me and Bobby McGee."
"You just look at him, and it's the lines on his face that tell stories. It's his hair. I know it sounds odd, but the guy's revered in a way that's usually in the same sentence with people like Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson," said Owen, who'd just introduced himself to "Mr. Kristofferson" a couple of minutes earlier.
Heidi Newfield added, "When he did 'A Star is Born,' he had women taking cold showers all over the world. He had a charisma, and sexy just oozes all over him. But you add this with the fact that he's a Rhodes scholar, and he chose this path rather than becoming a professor (Kristofferson turned down a teaching post at West Point to become a janitor in Nashville) - I think we're all the better for it."
Kristofferson broke down and sobbed for a moment, as Vince Gill, Patti Griffin and longtime pal Willie Nelson sang a touching trio of some of his best-loved songs. "The great thing about being a songwriter is you can hear your baby interpreted by so many people that have creative talents vocally that I don't have," he confided to us earlier on the red carpet. He laughed when reminded of how he came to Nashville in 1965, and gave up a promising career in academia for an uncertain future in the music biz. "My mother thought I was crazy," he admits. "I never doubted once that I was in the right place."
I really admire Kris body of work .. I remember how I got his marvelous album (Me & Bobby McGee) it was like a miracle. Yes It was always a miracle in a country like Syria to get such album like (John weasly Harding) of Bob Dylan. or (Stand Up) of Jethro Tull....I was going to meet a childhood friend of mine who went to work as a sailor. Who I didn’t see for a long long time. There in his parents’ house I noticed an album thrown without care beside him.. and when I asked him what that Salim ? he answered: Nothing.. some one left it in the ship and I took it. If you want it, it’s yours??
So .. I full in love with all the 14 songs.. after that I got other Kris’s albums. The ones which said was successful and which was not.. and I loved them all .. I adore Kris Kristofferson even I didn’t like to see him in such small roles in some bad commercial Films.. But Kris well always stay my best county singer ever.
Thanks Kris for your believe..
Cool post. When will I get the rest details?
It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.
have had the priveledge to see him in Ireland 16 times...from the times with Danny Timms til now as a solo. with a song list like his he captivates the soul.cost me a small fortune to follow him....but worth it. 'Why Me Lord' beat the devil outta me...should be in every worship book today instead of repetitive trance inducing nonsense!!! Godblessya Kris and keep your spirit.
Doesn't anyone remember "Sailor Who Fell From Grace To The Sea"! Uncut version very steamy. "A Star" saw 3 times. Bobby McGee still makes me cry. Fortunately, KK has still got it going on. Kudos!
I thought that Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to Buddy Holly ?
How nice it would have been to see this award show televised instead of the 4 hour, what laughably passes for country music today, extravaganza shown the following night.
What a wonderful song writer, actor, and man. I have melted in those blue eyes for years. When my dad passed away one of the songs at his funeral was Why Me Lord. I believe at one time Kris was in the oilfield as was my father. Even if not it is a great song for an old oil man.
"And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringin'.
And it echoed through the canyons,
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday."
You just don't find words with meaning like that in the cutsie formula songs of mainstream country/pop these days.
The man is an American treasure. On my list of all time great song writers, he is in the top five.
I love his songs, and I was especially moved by Sunday Morning Coming Down, when he said "It took me back to something that I'd lost, somehow, somewhere along the way." I remembered my Christianity that I had trashed, and Sundays certainly made me feel the same way at that time; lost and out of sync since I had abandoned Jesus Christ.
When I saw him for the first time, I just fell in love. I was 18 and used to live in Brasil. "A STAR IS BORN" and a star was born for me.
Still love him.
Sunday morning coming down. Best song ever written.
one of the funnest movies ever, a made for tv western. Staring Kris was Sod Busters
One of the great poets of our lifetime
We never doubted it either!
Love him dearly. I named my son Kristoffer after seeing "A Star Is Born". He is still sexy, and has beautiful hair, especially at his age.
He's amazing!! Long live Kris Kristofferson!
That was Waylon that gave up his seat on the airplane, not Kris.
I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn't hurt. The beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, so I had one more for dessert....
Truly classic. Would've loved to spend a year with him and Cash in the heydays.
One of Country Music's Greats!! Named my son after him.
Have we forgotten his acting career. His dynamic performance as "Whistler" in Blade changed cinema forever. "Blades a daywalker." gets me evertime.
I met Kris in 1985 while we were anchored outside the Persian Gulf. He flew out to do a USO show and I just happened to be at the right place at the right ime to meet him when he came aboard. One of the most approachable and gracious persons I have ever met.
Great to see that the people who are writing what passes for country music today can still appreciate those who write REAL country music. One of the all-time greats and a living legend, right up there with Guy Clark and Levon Helm as institutions who are still making and performing vibrant and relevant music. Thanks for all the memorable moments over the years, Kris.
Anne Minnery, wrote a fabulous song called "Where Is Kris Kristofferson", that received fabulous radio airplay in Europe, but couldn't get any airplay in North America. A beautiful tribute to Kris. It was about her thanks to Kris for everything that the gave the world, through his music, his poetry and his presence here on earth. How nice to see him getting recognized and remembered. When the radio forgot him, his fans never did. And to Anne Minnery....you're question is now answered...
I've always loved Kris's beautiful songs, and it's so nice that he won this award. It's richly deserved.
Mr. Kristofferson is a very talented man and truly deserved this award.
All of his great musical achievements make it easier to overlook that atrocious remake of "A Star is Born."
What can you say. He is what defines America!!!!!
Not to take away from any accolades of Kristofferson's musical career but I wish to address the glorification of his military duty by some of the bloggers here. I was an acquaintance and neighbor of his in Germany
He was your regular helicopter pilot serving his tour there. Most pilots were slated for Viet Nam following these tours in Europe. Somehow he was offered a position at West Point which he turned down. He resigned and went to Nashville.
He wasn't doing anything more heroic than anyone else was who was in the military at that time outside of actually being in Viet Nam.
I have had the great honor and privilege of spending a brief bit of time with Kris on two occasions in my life.
What you see onstage is what you see backstage. Kris is simply and wonderfully just 'Kris.'
Kristofferson's writing contains the most heart-wrenching poetry ever written...and it has stood the test of time. Favorite album – Silver Tongue Devil...has countless examples of this...breaks my heart to listen to some of his works...but always worth a re-listen.
Congratulations, Kris! I've been a fan since the silver-tongue devil days, and this award is well-deserved! Your lyrics never fail to touch me.
His voice is not beautiful or mellow. How can you listen to him, though, and not be moved by the fact that he's singing his life? That's like saying Bob Dylan shouldn't sing, or John Prine shouldn't sing. Forget traditional expectations, close your eyes, and let the moment take you away. I'd rather listen to the original singer 1000 times more than listen to lyrics being interpreted by a skilled singer.
Sallyforth, check out the Native American group Walela – that's Rita Coolidge, her sister, and her niece. They're wonderful.
I don't know Kris Kristofferson the singer, but rather KK the actor. "Convoy" was the first movie I saw on HBO, and I was a fan of KK ever since.
I had to look this up. The article says KK became a janitor in Nashville. It should have said he went to Nashville to pursue a career in songwriting.
I met him once at a concert he had at our little amphitheatre. He was very nice. I love his songs and his voice.
Nice catch, kaydeedee, thanks for clarifying.
Papa Kris, is a wonderful human person who deserves this and more! His helped soooooooo many families along the way and continues to give and love, his got the most humble children and wife that I have ever met, and of course that's his beautiful REAL HAIR! Que Dios te vendiga hoy i siempre Papa Kris i familia.
Brenda, Thank you for all you're help.
Kris has been a fan of mine since the 60's and I always knew he was one of the brightest but never knew he spent all that hard earned money to become a Rhodes Scholar, so he could push a broom. Now that is a man with 'a calling' to dare the impossible, and to live his dream.
Congratulations Kris, because you are well deserving of all good things and keep relying on your faith and belief in God because he knows all, and you still have alot to contribute. Thanks for your contributions and for paving the way for many to follow your path, and for us in the audience to appreciate your gifts. Congratulations and God Bless you and yours forevermore.
In addition to all of his other accomplishments, Kristofferson also helped bring Steve Goodman and John Prine to the nation's conscientiousness.
"Great example of a storyteller who should never sing."
Are you kidding me? Not all great voices are velvet.
I dislike old men who still have hair, but if Kristofferson would just get to looking old I would be willing to approve in his case due to his music.
One of the few greats left. Absolutely love Kris and his songs.
Our world was made a little bit better by KK.
He was great in Convoy too!
Both my husband and I love Kris Kristofferson, we named our son Kris!
kris kristofferson made Nasty comments about American solders
involvement in the current Iraq war....
He's nothing more then your topical Hollywood elitist Celebrity !!!
Kris will be performing at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons on January 16, 2010. We can't wait to see and hear him.
Bob, that was Kris's good friend Waylon Jennings who gave his seat to another and missed the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens.
Saw him in St. John's, Newfoundland a couple of years ago. He was excellent. I always listen to his song when I was in University in the 70s.
They don't make men like this anymore...
Every strand is amazingly, beautifully and naturally his own. I know because I cut his hair. End of issue.
My Dear Mr. Kristofferson-
You are a man that has has given, taken, risen and stumbled. Your tribulations, pain, gifts, and ultimate decency have been a precious gift to me. You have taught many of us that strength is a learned and practiced trait. I have admired you for many years and count you among those few in Entertainment that I would be honored to know. I hope you realize what a wonderful example you have set for so many of us. Thank you. Pam
As a songwriter, yes, he's quite gifted. But whoever told him he could sing-–my fiance plays his old albums all the time and it drives me nuts when someone who can't sing, does. Glad he can write well tho.
Oh my god, that voice. He must have taught the angels how to sing.
Lord, what have I ever done
to deserve even one
of the pleasures I've known
Tell me Lord,
What did I ever do
that was worth loving you,
for the kindness you've shown.
Lord help me Jesus,
I wasted itSo help me Jesus
I know what I am.
Check out a recent interview with Kris in the Austin Chronicle article "Capricorn Jesus." http://bit.ly/29xE6v Really, really worth a read especially if you are a fan of Kris.
Another interesting factoid not mentioned is that he gave up his seat on the plane that ultimately crashed killing Buddy Holly. Evidently he was the bass player for the winter concert tour and offered the seat up due to one of the other guys having an extremely bad fever.
If you waste your time a'talkin
to the people who don't listen
to the things that you are sayin'
who do you think's gonna hear?
Get over yourself, Elaine....!!! I have loved this man for over
35yrs and have seen him 3 times....he just gets better...
having met him once, I can tell you - that hair is all his!
I envy him his looks and songwriting ability, but more than that I envy him Rita Coolidge. He was hated by thousands of guys for getting her (like we had a shot).
I had the pleasure of seeing Kris and Rita in concert at Northrup Auditorium in St. Paul back in the 70s. Front row -middlesection-seats. (Some members of Rita and Kris' family were sitting right behind us) First Kris sang a bunch of his songs and then Rita sang several of hers. Then they both sang together. It was a magical concert, one that I will never forget. Both singers were excellent and when they sang together, it was heaven. Wish I knew what happened to Rita, as she is a great singer. Kris just keeps going, like the Energizer bunny. He is a class act. For that matter, both of them are!
What I remember most about Kris Kristofferson is his rudeness and profanity at a college concert many years ago. I've ignored him completely since then.
RE: D. Carr, Houston, Texas
No, I believe Kris was never in Viet Nam, but served in the US Army in Germany
An inspiration for 35 years. One of the great poets of our time. His voice has character and brings truth to the words.
I don't know. Something about him has always suggested to me that he never deserved Rita and that she suffered as a consequence of his vanity and machismo.
I started wondering who Kris Kristofferson was when I kept seeing his name as songwriter on other's records, then bought his first album. I still have it. I am glad he is happy now but he sure made some beautiful music with Rita Coolidge. His voice is not typical but it still sounds good to me.
Slight correction on a comment – he was never in Vietnam. From IMDB:
"He is a former United States Army Rangers captain. He graduated Airborne School, Ranger School and flight school, served in Germany, volunteered for Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, but instead was offered a professor of English Literature position at USMA West Point. Disappointed that he was not allowed to fight in Vietnam, he resigned his position in 1965."
I believe he did serve in Vietnam AND that is his real hair!! Anyway good going Kris. Sometimes I get him and Gordon Lightfoot and Nick Nolte mixed up. But he's very good at what he does. And a class act...
He has been a part of my life for over 30 years. The silver tongued devel & I would play on my 8-track all the time. I fell in love with his voice and his lyrics. He is soulful and a great writer. Help me make it through another night is an all-time fave. Why me lord was an anthem for me during my teen aged years. I have never stopped caring for him. I find his voice and demeanor so charming. I fell in love with A star is born. He was as perfect for the part as Bard S was for her part.
Not just a Rhodes Scholar and West Point instructor but also a helicopter pilot and graduate of the super-selective Pomona College. This brilliant and incredibly talented guy could have done anything he'd wanted.
Kris is the man!......His parents once told him he would not amount to anything......Well......Singer, songwriter, actor. Rhodes Scholar and as mentioned one the Army's best helo Pilots...I met him at Willie Nelsons birthday party. Keep going Kris!
I saw Kris in concert about 3 months ago, and it was such a thrill for me. I have enjoyed his talent since the 70's. I have known all the words to his songs for many, many years. This was the first time I got to see him in person, and he did not disappoint me at all. Yes, he was older, and during the concert, it was funny, because he blew his nose continously – I thought that was so funny. He is a real person, and a real talent, but certainly very humble. He is definitely one of the last remaining Icons in music. I still remember his great duets, with then wife Rita Coolidge. Great couple, great music together.
It's good to know that fiery independence receives it's just rewards. Where many a man would have fallen, Kris may have staggered but always stayed on his feet. A musical icon that we should look up to and show our due respect when the occassion arises. Here's to ya Kris. God bless.
He helped shape my life.
Well, hell, he WROTE these songs and lived them. I just listen and I sob sometimes.
He's my secret buddy. If we ever met, I think we would get along fine.
got money Jerry is bald...don't be a hater
Looking at the picture CNN chose to include with this story, I am reminded of Mark Twain–also a quintessential American storyteller. I'm glad he chose the path he did. "Professor Kristofferson" is just too stuffy for this guy! Congratulations, Kris! And, thank you for your service to America, both military and artistic.
You have to admire Kristofferson, for many reasons in addition to his amazing song writing talents. He served our country, is extremely intelligent and hard working, and he was simply bad-ass in the Blade movies!
Class act all the way.
He never served in Viet Nam. That said, he is a remarkable individual; Army Captain, helicopter pilot, Rhodes Scholar (Oxford), Golden Gloves boxer, etc.
What was the song that Kris did with Rita Coolidge? Early 70s I think....
I saw Kris in concert about 30 years afo..KK it's been a while since you came to Vancouver..hint hint
It is very appropriate that this article came out on Veterans Day given Kris Kristofferson's service to this country. Too bad the writer didn't bother mentioning that part. Thanks for music and the service Kris!
'Bout time! Country music needs this kind of talent and class UP FRONT. Congrats to Kris!
I've loved him for 30 years. How often do you get his blend of courage, sultry soul, smarts, and amazingly hot looks all wrapped up in one smokin' package? I'm glad to see he's still got it!
I fell in love with Kris Kristofferson years ago when "The Silver Tongue Devil and I" record album came out. And now that I have it also on MP3 it gets played all the time. I haunted a record store for weeks until they finally took a huge promotional poster of him down and gave it to me. He went with me through many a dorm room and apartment. Those sexy blue eyes and his gravely voice melted me.
Kris is one of a kind. Jerry – are you kidding me? Of course that is his hair!!!
i love kris! i loved him in "fire down below" and in the blade movies....also a sexy, dapper older gentlemen...only recently i discovered his career in music too. mulit faceted, multi talented...definately one of a kind, hands down.
I cannot believe that on Veteran's Day you did not acknowledge his service in Viet Nam as a heliocopter pilot. My understanding is that Kristofferson saw serious action that left him tormented for many years after getting back to the U.S. Bless him and all fellow vets for their service to our country.
his music makes me cry and it makes me smile. Kris is definitely one of a kind.
Love, Love, Love Kris Kristofferson. What a loss if he had decided to go into acadamia.
I'll never forget his performance in "AMERIKA", maybe it wasn't a classic movie his performance left a lasting impression. His Pledge of Allegiance was moving! Great star!
Kris is the coolest. Always liked him. A definite mainstay and living legend.
Great example of a storyteller who should never sing.
Writing country like they don't write it much anymore. One of only two remaining Highwaymen (the other being Willie Nelson, another great) - and among the last of the country icons. God bless him.
Does not get any better than that. He made all the right choices and decisions. Always follow your bliss!
Kris is a very talented writer, but that's not his real hair, that's a wig.
Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down!
Well deserved. Great songwriter. Brilliant man. And still sexy!
Ya gotta love Mr. Kris Kristofferson...
Kris is a very unque and talented man. he has earned this award.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 7,751 other followers