Articulate, bright, and passionate singer, songwriter, and actor Kris Kristofferson (1936-) was born in Brownsville, Texas.
A Golden Gloves boxer, Airborne Ranger Captain, and Rhodes Scholar who majored in creative writing at Oxford, he moved to Nashville to pursue his songwriting dreams.
He saw Janis Joplin skyrocket to fame with his song Me & Bobby Mcgee in 1971. "Every time I sing the line 'somewhere near Salinas I let her slip away,' I think of her," Kristofferson said about Joplin.
Kristofferson wrote For The Good Times (1970) while piloting helicopters for offshore oil rigs in the gulf of Mexico. His Sunday Morning Coming Down, recorded by Johnny Cash, won the 1970 Country Music Award Song of the Year, then Help Me Make It Through The Night, another Kristofferson tune, won the award the following year.
The talented performer made movies, too, over 40 films, starring in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), A Star Is Born (1976), and Convoy (1978). Heaven's Gate (1980) was disastrous, but the industry survivor came back strong with 1996's Lone Star.
He reflected on his philosophy of life: "As soon as you learn to never give up, you have to learn the power and wisdom of unconditional surrender, and that one doesn't cancel out the other; they just exist as contradictions. The wisdom of it comes as you get older."
Nowadays, the rugged, graveled-voice singer lives in Maui and continues to write songs, which he lovingly described as being "where the stuff you feel in your heart is expressed, it's the closest thing to your soul."
Sing your songs with passion!