Shelton Hank Williams (born December 12, 1972) also known as Hank Williams III, Hank III or just "3"(stylized with a modified Black Flag logo as Hank's official logo), is a Country Music artist who performs in the Alternative Country subgenre. The son of Hank Williams Jr. and grandson of the legendary Hank Williams. Hank III is noted for his strong vocal and physical resemblance to his grandfather.
Hank III started out as a Punk Rock and Heavy Metal musician before starting his Country Music career on Curb Records, a relationship that is understandably a sore point due to Curb's Executive Meddling. While signed to Curb, he gained a cult following for his live shows, which combined Outlaw Country, Punk-Country and Country-Metal fusions, capped with a performance by Hank's Death Metal band Assjack.
With his live band, he recorded a Country Metal album called This Ain't Country, which Curb outright refused to release. After publicly boycotting Curb, Hank III recorded an Outlaw Country album called Thrown out of the Bar, which Curb again refused to release, but was eventually reworked into the critically acclaimed album Straight to Hell, which Curb agreed to distribute under a newly created sublabel, Bruc Records.
Williams recorded two more albums for Curb, Damn Right, Rebel Proud and Rebel Within, who issued both albums under the Sidewalk Records label, which had defuncted in 1970, due to Curb's apparent outright refusal to have anything to do with Hank III's profane lyrics and Outlaw style. Following these albums, Hank finally got out of his contract with Curb. After Williams left the label, however, Curb released This Ain't Country under the name Hillbilly Joker without Hank's permission, ironically on Curb Records, and also making no attempt to advertise the fact that it is a metal album, not a country album.
In response to the unauthorized release of Hillbilly Joker, Williams suggested that his fans download or trade the album rather than give their money to Curb. Hank's been busy releasing albums independently on his own label, including a Country album (with appearances by Tom Waits and Les Claypool), a Doom Metal album and an album which fused Speed Metal with sounds of an auctioneer and cattle.
- Risin' Outlaw (1999)
- Lovesick, Broke and Driftin (2002)
- This Ain't Country (recorded in 2003, released in 2011 without Hank's permission under the name Hillbilly Joker)
- Straight to Hell (2006)
- Damn Right, Rebel Proud (2008)
- Rebel Within (2010)
- Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town (2011)
- 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin (2011)
- Attention Deficit Domination (2011)
- Long Gone Daddy (2012)
- Canon Discontinuity:
- Cover Version:
- Identical Grandson: He looks a lot more like his grandfather Hank Williams than even his father Hank Jr. does, but the resemblance really comes through when he sings; his voice is very similar to Hank Sr's. Upon meeting Hank III, Hank, Sr.'s friend Minnie Pearl commented, "Lord, honey, you're a ghost."
- Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: His music ranges from traditional, outlaw and alternative country to Country Metal, Heavy Metal and Punk Rock. The D.I.Y. aesthetic of punk is carried over to much of his music.
- Posthumous Collaboration: Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts, which combines vocals from Hank Sr. songs with newly recorded instrumentation and singing by Hank Jr. and Hank III. It was Hank Jr.'s idea. Hank III doesn't acknowledge this one. He probably agreed with one reviewer, who called it "morbid".
- Take That!: "Just so you know, so it's set in stone, Kid Rock don't come from where I come from, yeah it's true, he's a Yank, he ain't no son of Hank, and if you thought so, well goddamn, you're fucking dumb" This was a response to a duet between Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock in which Williams Jr. referred to Rock as "my rebel son", a joke that some fans took seriously.
- Theme Tune Cameo: During the Straight to Hell hidden track, the melody of "Hillbilly Joker" is heard briefly played on guitar at one point.