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Hall of Fame Songwriter Hank Williams, Jr. Honored as BMI Icon

November 12 2008

BMI Honored Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member Hank Williams, Jr. as a BMI Icon at the 56th Annual BMI Country Awards. The annual event celebrates country music’s elite songwriters at the performing right organization’s Music Row offices. Hosted by BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and BMI Vice President Writer/Publisher Relations, Jody Williams, the highlight of the night was the all-star tribute to Hank, which included performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph, and Kenny Chesney.

Hank Williams, Jr.’s career has spanned 40 years and profiled the aspirations, trials and carousals of the everyman in an instantly recognizable voice. Nicknamed “Bocephus” by his legendary father Hank Williams, the younger Williams’ waggish songs and roguish persona have unified through their celebration of rebellion. A sly songwriter and robust vocalist capable of conveying startling emotion and making deceptively ordinary characters shine, he boasts a catalog that includes honky-tonk classics “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down,” “Country Boy Can Survive,” “Born to Boogie,” “Dixie On My Mind,” “Family Tradition,” “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and “Texas Women.” Each composition represents a candid piece of Williams himself: He wrote every song on that list alone.

In addition to 10 no. 1 singles, he found mainstream success on the pop charts and through penning and performing the multiple Emmy award-winning theme to Monday Night Football. Six of Williams’ albums reached platinum status, while 20 were certified gold and 13 reached the no. 1 spot on the charts. Today, a diverse slew of artists spanning hard rap/rocker Kid Rock to contemporary honky-tonker Gretchen Wilson embrace Williams’ prolific legacy, citing him as a definitive influence.

Williams was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. To learn more about Hank Williams Junior, visit his member page in the Hall of Fame.

Images and content courtesy of BMI, photographs by John Russell.