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Willie Nelson says he'd chop his signature hair before parting with this prized possession

Turns out the country music superstar isn’t as attached to his long braids as fans might think.
/ Source: TODAY

When fans think of Willie Nelson, the first thing that comes to their minds after his long list of hits is likely his equally long hair.

While the 88-year-old country crooner kicked off his career in the 1950s with a short-cropped do, by 1975, with the release of his album “Red Headed Stranger,” he launched a shaggy look that became his signature.

But as he revealed during a Thursday chat with Jenna Bush Hager, he wouldn’t hesitate to part ways with his braids if it meant he could keep a possession for which he has a much bigger sentimental attachment.

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson has a strong attachment to his guitar Trigger.Brandon Bell / Getty Images

“If you had to get a haircut or a new guitar, what would you choose?” the TODAY with Hoda & Jenna host asked.

Without hesitation, he said, “I’d cut the hair off, and it’ll grow back.”

After all, there’s no replacing Trigger.

Willie Nelson and guitar Trigger
Willie Nelson holds his guitar Trigger as he performs during the "Willie Nelson & Family New Year" concert in 2018.Suzanne Cordeiero / AFP via Getty Images

That’s the name Nelson gave the Martin N-20 classical acoustic guitar that came into his life back in 1969 — a now well-worn instrument covered in faded signatures and water stains and even boasting a sizable gouge next to the bridge. And when the superstar performs, it’s never far from his side.

As for the hair, if he ever had to make such a choice, it wouldn't be the first time he chopped it off.

Back in 2010, he shocked fans when he debuted a bob that didn’t even make it down to his shoulders. But it wasn’t long before he was back in braids again.

Willie Nelson with a bob haircut
Nelson briefly sported a shorter hairdo a decade ago.Gary Miller / FilmMagic

Jenna also asked Nelson what his career path would have been if he and Trigger didn’t go on to make beautiful music together, and that’s when he offered up a truly surprising answer.

“I enjoy martial arts,” he said. “I probably would have got into that.”

He’s not so sure he would have been quite as big of a success though, as he added that he would have had his “butt kicked a few times” along the way.

Of course, there are few who can match his success as a singer-songwriter in country music, though fellow icon and his sometimes duet partner, Dolly Parton, certainly does.

“Everybody relates to Willie,” Parton told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, in a quote Jenna shared with him on the show. “He’s down to earth, he can sing anything, he’s just an all-American boy. I just love him; I hope he lives forever — and he will, in his music.”

His response to that? “Well, she’s great. I love her, too.”

And he’s still creating new works for his fans — even the not-so-famous ones — to rave about.

Just this week, he and his sister, Bobbie Nelson, released their first-ever children’s book, an autobiographical story called “Sister, Brother, Family: An American Childhood in Music.”

And Bobbie will also join him and his children, sons Lukas and Micah and daughters Paula and Amy, on his next album, aptly titled “The Willie Nelson Family,” which is set to drop on Nov. 19.