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Hank Williams Jr. Biography

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Birth Name: Randall Hank Williams
Born: 1949/05/26
Birth Place: Shreveport, Louisiana, US
Years Active: 1957 - present
Genres: Country, Outlaw Country, Southern Rock, Country Rock

Randall Hank Williams (born May 26, 1949) better known as Hank Williams, Jr. and Bocephus, is an American country singer-songwriter and musician. His musical style is often considered a blend of Southern Rock, blues, and traditional country. He is the son of country music pioneer Hank Williams, and the father of Hank Williams III, Holly Williams, Hilary Williams, Samuel Williams and Katie Williams. As a multi-instrumentalist, Williams' repertoire of skills include guitar, bass guitar, upright bass, steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, piano, keyboards, harmonica, fiddle, and drums.

Williams began his career by following in his famed father's footsteps, singing his father's songs and imitating his father's style. Williams first stepped on the stage and sang his father's songs when he was eight years old. In 1957, he made his recording debut with "Long Gone Lonesome Blues", one of many of his father's classic songs. Williams' own style slowly evolved as he struggled to find his own voice and place within the country music industry.

After recording the soundtrack to “Your Cheatin' Heart,” a biography of his father, he hit the charts with one of his own compositions, "Standing in the Shadows (Of a Very Famous Man)". The song signaled a move to rock and roll and other influences, as he tentatively began to step out of the titular shadow of his father.

During this time, Williams had his first two No. 1 songs: "All For the Love of Sunshine" (1970, featured on the soundtrack to “Kelly's Heroes”) and "Eleven Roses" (1972).

By the mid-1970s, Williams began to pursue a musical direction that would, eventually, make him a superstar. Williams began playing music with Southern rock musicians, among them Waylon Jennings, Toy Caldwell, Marshall Tucker Band and Charlie Daniels. “Hank Williams Jr. and Friends,” often considered his "watershed" album, was the product of these then-groundbreaking collaborations.

In 1977 Williams released “One Night Stands.” It was the New South album which he got to work with his old friend Waylon Jennings. Waylon produced the album and appeared with vocals on “Once and For All.”

He was extremely prolific throughout the 1980s, sometimes recording and releasing two albums a year. “Family Tradition,” “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” “Habits Old and New,” “Rowdy,” “The Pressure Is On,” “High Notes,” “Strong Stuff,” “Man of Steel,” “Major Moves,” “Five-O,” “Montana Cafe,” and many others resulted in a long string of hits.

In 1987 and 1988, Williams was named Entertainer Of The Year by the Country Music Association. In 1987, 1988, and 1989, he won the same award from the Academy of Country Music. The pinnacle album of his acceptance and popularity was “Born to Boogie.”

His 1989 hit "There's a Tear in My Beer" was a duet with his father created using electronic merging technology. Hank Williams, Jr. would go on to win a Grammy award in 1990 for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.

He is probably best known today for his hit "A Country Boy Can Survive." He is also well known today as the performer of the theme song for “Monday Night Football,” based on his 1984 hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight". In 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994, Williams' opening themes for Monday Night Football earned him four Emmy awards. In 2001 Hank rewrote his classic hit "A Country Boy Can Survive" after 9/11, renaming it "America Can Survive".

In April 2009, Williams released a new single, "Red, White & Pink-Slip Blues", which charted to #43 on the country charts. The song was the lead-off single to Williams' album, “127 Rose Avenue.” The album debuted and peaked at #7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Hank Williams Jr. has sold 36 million albums world-wide. Eleven of his singles have reached Number One in either the United States or Canada.