Dan ‘Bee’ Spears, the man who has played bass for Willie Nelson since 1968, has passed away near Nashville at the age of 62.

Dan started playing with Willie when he was 19-years old.

Willie has paid tribute to his dear friend at his website. The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened by the death of Family member Dan “Bee” Spears, long time friend and bassist for Willie Nelson and Family.

“We are still in shock and gathering details as the day continues. He apparently died of accidental exposure at his property near Nashville, Tenn.”

KUT News Austin reports that “Spears slipped and fell while exiting his motor home near Nashville on Thursday night and died from exposure to the elements”.

Spears teamed up with Nelson in 1968 and recorded on Nelson’s classic album Red Headed Stranger, Stardust and Always On My Mind. He also played on songs by Johnny Cash, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and The Highwaymen.

Nelson’s last show with Spears was on November 19. They were not due to perform again until December 30 in Austin.