Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn surprised audiences at the Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta when they took the stage with country music legends Willie Nelson and Kriss Krisstofferson. Together, they delighted the 6,500 fans with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” This wasn’t the first time the former president and his wife took the stage with Nelson. In 2012, they joined him on the same stage, also to perform “Amazing Grace.”
Carter has been a long-time fan of Nelson’s work and often invited the country music icon to perform at the White House during his administration. In what might seem an odd twist for clean-cut Carter, it was during his administration that Nelson famously smoked a joint on the roof of the White House. Carter even credits Nelson as an influence on his policy decisions, saying “All the good things I did as president, all the mistakes I made — you can blame half of that on Willie.” No word on which half we’re supposed to give Nelson credit for, though.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has had a busy month. In addition to performing on stage with music legends, Carter gave an interview with the The New York Times where he discussed several issues.
The former President called out the Republican Party’s strong opposition to President Barack Obama as having a “heavily racial overtone” and said that Trump’s campaign has been successful because it “tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism.” He went on to call out Trump for his proposed Muslim ban, saying that “When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights.”
Carter also discussed his work with the New Baptist Covenant, a group he formed in 2007, to address racial and social inequality within the Baptist community and the country as a whole. He mentioned that the initiative had faced some challenges, but was hopeful that his upcoming summit in his home-town of Atlanta would bring together Baptists of all races to help address some of the important issues facing the country.
The video of the Carters’ performance at the Chastain Park Amphitheater can be seen here: