Kristofferson joined by Rita Coolidge after his 30 October show in San Diego follows a tragic loss around a year ago.
Photographs of Kris and his ex-wife circulated the media after his concert in San Diego earlier this month. The ex-spouses look happy & relaxed, & photographs were well received by fans of both of these stars. Connie Nelson, Willie’s ex-wife was part of the group. I have not been able to get permission to use these photographs, but they do appear on Rita’s official Facebook page & can be viewed there (Pic used here is CC, cit below)
The snaps were reportedly taken backstage, & show the ex-couple looking comfortable & still very fond of each other. Life on the road is notoriously harsh on marriages, & must be very difficult for raising children. The marriage was dissolved a long time ago now, & many fans will be pleased to see that although even icons cannot escape the pressures of living, working & raising a family, the human spirit is resilient & universal. Peace & reconciliation often bring their own (if different over time & circumstance) rewards & delight. We are all human, after all.
The photographs are more poignant when we remember that Rita Coolidge lost her sister to a thankfully less common life event around a year ago. Rita speaks about this here
Priscilla Coolidge died in a murder-suicide. Priscilla’s death was ruled a homicide, her husband’s death a suicide. There is no argument that Priscilla’s husband, Michael Seibert, murdered his wife, then took his own life. Back then, Rita said in a statement to the Star: “Words cannot express the devastation our family is feeling with the loss of my sister, Priscilla.” & added, “We are asking for privacy during this time of mourning.” We respect that, so enough said, except that despite the tragedy, many fans are grateful that Rita is continuing to work & entertain us.
The Coolidge sisters worked on various projects together, & formed a trio group called Walela, along with Priscilla’s daughter. (Walela is the Cherokee the word for Hummingbird) The group celebrated the family’s Cherokee heritage, & performed during the opening of the 2002 Olympics. Walela was listed on the NAMA website under the Winners section as follows:
Walela (Cherokee)- 01 Group of the Year, 1998 Song of the Year, 98 Debut Group, 04 Short Long video
This same site shows Rita, later photographed with Lil SteveLn & John Trudell.
Kris Kristofferson’s, Johnny Lobo, which features on the 1995 Moment in Forever album, is about John Trudell, & was used at the end of the documentary film, Trudell, released in 2005. Kris mentions Trudell’s story in many of his concerts, & during a concert in Birmingham, England, Kris asked me if I had explored the work of John Trudell. I told him I had heard of him but was not fully up to date with his story, he encouraged me to research the man & read his work.
Kris sang What About Me from his 1986 album, Repossessed at a Trudell/Timms gig in Hamburg in 1993, but there are countless illustrations of Kristofferson’s support & respect for Trudell. The Coolidge sisters are connected to Trudell through work & heritage, & are likely good friends.
We often forget that entertainers & artists are people too, & are more than the sum of their work & popularity. I hope that days of peace, harmony, good health & happiness outnumber the times of adversity for all of us, for a long time to come. So for the Good Times – Salute!
Booker T & Priscilla
NB: There is a beautiful photograph of the Coolidge sisters & their parents with Kris (before he married Rita), & Priscilla’s then-husband & his family here
Rita Coolidge speaks about her life in her own Bio
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Photo CC Licence , credit to Alan Light© kriskristoffersonfan.com, unless otherwise stated