Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

In this classic video, Willie Nelson did such a unique version of this hymn that he made it his own. The song is “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”

Nelson sang it on CMT as a tribute to Johnny Cash, shortly after his passing. And if there were any atheists in the audience, they probably couldn’t help but love Willie’s singing.

Such profoundly religious music is always controversial with television executives, which is why they probably would want him to sing something else. But Nelson doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and he let his raw talent shine through.

The song was likely composed by African-American slaves in the 19th century and first published in William Eleazar Barton’s 1899 Old Plantation Hymns. With such a rich history, Nelson gives the song the respect it deserves. And he stands up for Jesus!

Thank you Willie for standing up for Christianity! Please share this beautiful song with your friends on Facebook.