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Willie Nelson smiles as he receives his fifth-degree black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul on April 28 in Austin. / Ralph Barrera, AP

AUSTIN - Willie Nelson has accomplished a great deal in his 80 years, and on Monday night, the day before his 81st birthday, the Red Headed Stranger added to that long list of accolades.

Nelson received his fifth-degree black belt in a martial art called GongKwon Yusul, a discipline with Korean roots that Nelson says he has practiced for 20 years.

"It's just good for you physically. For your lungs. The more you're breathing, exercising, the better you're going to feel," said Nelson from his tour bus in an exclusive interview with KVUE Monday night.

Nelson was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame last weekend.

The father of eight celebrates his 81st birthday today in a concert at The Backyard.

Nelson also has a new CD called Band of Brothers, which comes out in June.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Willie Nelson celebrates 81st birthday with black belt

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