Hank Williams, Jr. biography
SynopsisBorn on May 26, 1949, in Shreveport, Louisiana, Hank Williams Jr. was performing Hank Sr.'s songs on stage at age 8. In the 1970s, he created his own musical identity, combining country with Southern rock and blues. Williams was severely injured in a mountain-climbing accident, but in the 1980s he shot to stardom with several multi-platinum albums, going on to become a legend on his own terms.
ProfileCountry musician. Born Randall Hank Williams on May 26, 1949, in Shreveport, Louisiana. The son and namesake of country music pioneer Hank Williams, Hank Jr. was just three when his father died. Five years later, he was performing Hank Sr.'s songs on stage and by age 14 he had recorded his first record. Throughout his teens, Hank Jr. performed to sold-out crowds and on national television, carrying on his father's legacy through music.
By the early 1970s, though, Hank Jr. yearned to create his own musical identity that combined country with Southern rock and blues. The resulting sound debuted in the 1975 album Hank Williams Jr. and Friends. That year, Williams was severely injured in a mountain-climbing accident in Montana, and it would take two years and nine major surgeries to reconstruct his face. The accident resulted in Williams' new trademark look, which included a full beard, cowboy hat and dark glasses.
During the 1980s, Hank Jr. catapulted to stardom with several multi-platinum albums and dozens of chart-topping singles, including "Family Tradition," "Texas Women" and "Born to Boogie." He won the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award in 1987 and 1988 and a Grammy Award in 1989 for a duet with his father's recorded vocals called "There's a Tear in My Beer." Younger audiences may know Williams' voice best from the theme song for ABC's Monday Night Football, which earned him four Emmy Awards.
Williams was married to Gwen Yeargain until 1977, followed by a marriage to Becky White with whom he has two children. He married Mary Jane Thomas in 1990, and they have two children.