Randall Hank Williams, known better as Hank Williams, Jr., is a Country Music
artist. Obviously, he's the son of the legendary Hank Williams
. Defying the common pattern for sons of famous musicians, Williams Jr. managed to establish a career at least as fruitful as his father's, in terms of chart and sales success, but did so on his own terms; whereas the elder Hank did so with pure honky tonk, Hank Jr. fused his father's music with Southern rock to create a sound and movement that few have equalled. His son Hank III
and daughter Holly are country music artists in their own right.
Early in his career, Hank Jr. sang most of his dad's material, but he eventually grew tired of imitating his father and decided to forge a sound of his own, taking cues from Southern rock. Not surprisingly, the demons hit him pretty hard as well — pills and booze nearly drove him to suicide in 1974, but he soon regrouped. In 1975, he fell 442 feet off a Montana mountain and seriously damaged his skull and face, re-emerging in 1977 after re-learning how to sing and talk. He also grew his trademark thick beard and began wearing large dark sunglasses to hide the visible scars from his injuries and surgery.
Although it took him a while to get his career back on track, he broke through again 1979, following in the tradition of outlaw singers such as Waylon Jennings
. For the rest of his career, he would balance his rock and country sound, managing to include chest-beating party anthems and sincere tributes to his father's sound in equal measure. Although he never had a Top 10 hit after 1990, he continued to release the occasional album.
Despite what you might have read on some websites, Hank Williams, Jr. is not
the father of Kid Rock
. This rumor was based on a misinterpretation of a lyric sung by Williams in his collaboration with the latter. Williams' real son, Hank III, addressed this rumor in his song "Not Everybody Likes Us". He also is not related to Paramore
singer Hayley Williams
Tropes about Hank Jr. himself:
- Badass Beard: He grew one not long after that fall off the mountain, mostly to cover up the substantial scars his injuries left. Those who have happened to see him clean-shaven claim that the scars aren't so bad nowadays, but he likes the look.
- Sunglasses at Night: It's rare that you see Hank without sunglasses, regardless of what time it is.
- Signature Style: He likes to write about the South, a lot. Usually in the form of thumping uptempos.
Tropes from/about Hank Jr.'s music: