Being the son of country star Hank Williams Jr. and grandson of country legend Hank Williams, Hank Williams III was a country music royalty way before he started learning to sing. Still, he has spent his teendom bucking his legacy until he made a name for himself. Songs by Hank Williams III that helped him rise to fame are “Country Heroes,” “Crazed Country Rebel,” “Mississippi Bud,” and “Not Everybody Likes Us.”
Throughout the years, he has earned a reputation as one of the biggest rebels of Nashville. Get to know more about Hank Williams III with these interesting facts.
1. He’s a native of Nashville, Tennessee.
Born Shelton Williams on December 12, 1972, Williams III’s parents divorced when he was three. He then moved to Atlanta with his mother and has never been close to his father. However, he started performing with his father’s band when he was ten years old.
2. He once asserted never to make country music.
Williams III spent his teenage years singing and drumming in various punk bands. “I was like, ‘I’m never gonna do country, I’m never gonna give in, you’ll never see me wear a cowboy hat,” he said.
However, Williams III finally embraced his country roots in 1996. Williams III collaborated with his father on the studio album Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts, which blended the songs of Hank Williams with newly recorded accompanying vocals by Hank Williams Jr. and Williams III.
3. He was ordered to pay child support for a son he says he didn’t know he had.
Williams III had to give up his nomadic punk rocker life when he found himself facing a paternity suit three years after a one-night stand. Williams III owed a huge backlog of child support amounting to $24,000 in addition to $589 a month. The judge then instructed him to find more reliable employment. “And that, as bad as it might sound, is why I got into country,” Williams III noted.
4. He started a campaign to have his grandfather reinstated into the Grand Ole Opry.
After missing an appearance as a result of heavy drinking and addiction to painkillers, Hank Williams was unceremoniously ousted from the hugely popular radio show in 1952. Over half a century later, Williams III organized The Reinstate Hank campaign in the hopes that his grandfather’s name would return to the Opry. The online petition earned over 65,000 signatures, but the country legend remains a former member.
5. He’s a big advocate for animals.
Williams III has been known to pull his tour bus over to check on stray animals and find them new homes. He even partnered with Happy Tails Humane in Franklin, Tennessee, to raise awareness and money for a no-kill shelter.
For years, Williams III has been playing charity concerts to benefit animal shelters.
6. He is always willing to go the extra mile for his fans.
Hank Williams III would often patiently spend several hours after two or three-hour performances shaking hands, signing autographs, and taking pictures with fans.
Truly, the outlaw spirit of his lineage is undeniable.
Hank Williams III