In the music industry, there are very few artists who surpass superstar status to become true American icons. Hank Williams Jr. is one of those deserving few, and his work and his legacy will be honored in the new special CMT Giants, premiering in November on CMT. Throughout his career, Hank Jr. has helped shape country music's cultural landscape with his unbridled creativity, from the gut honesty, and unwavering personal convictions. His music not only reflects his own life, but the common experiences that unite fans around the world.
Hank Jr. has long been the voice of the common man, serving up observations on life and society that have made his fans listen intently and respond with a rousing "Hell Yeah!" as he puts words and music to their thoughts, hopes and everyday life. Nicknamed "Bocephus" by his famous father, he was only three when his father died in 1952. Eight years later his mother was coaxing him on stage to sing his daddy's songs, urging him to continue the legacy. He made his debut on the Opry at 11 and by the time he was 14 he was in the studio recording his debut album. His rendition of "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" became a hit and all eyes were on the artist, constantly looking for shades of his father's genius.
What followed in the years since has been a whirlwind ride during which the younger Williams successfully emerged from his famous father's shadow, forging a career of his own. He managed to create music that resonated with the same gut-wrenching emotion that marked his father's best work, yet beyond that he left little room for comparison as he blazed a trail with such classic hits as "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound," "All My Rowdy Friends," "Old Habits," "A Country Boy Can Survive" and "Born to Boogie."
The CMT Giants franchise began last year when Reba McEntire was honored for her stellar career by such stars as Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, LeAnn Rimes, Megan Mullally, Wynonna and Dolly Parton, each of whom paid tribute to Reba by lending their voices to her biggest hits.
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