Country music artist Sam Williams – the grandson of the legendary Hank Williams and son of outlaw country star Hank Williams Jr – has taken to social media in a soul-baring message about the negative comments he receives and the toll they take on his mental health.
Recalling some of the backlash he receives, such as “Hank Williams is rolling in his grave” due to Sam living his life as an openly gay man and previously making “pop-country” music, he wrote on Facebook last night (24 August), “It was always that my voice didn’t fit the current narrative around what’s ‘real country music.’ That can be rebutted with the fact I’ve been co-signed and supported by the likes of Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, Bill Anderson, etc.”
Explaining that he’s often pigeonholed into genre categories, Williams fast-forwarded to 2022 when he publicly came out as gay in his Tilted Crown music video. “It was just entirely shocking and repugnant that I came out. I couldn’t even delve into all the commentary around that,” Williams wrote.
“So, in order to be a man, a country musician, or a proper descendant of Hank, being gay is the last straw - according to the dufus circus of idiots who received their masters in Country Music History from __________. Fill in the blank,” he continued, “And their masters in Manhood and God from ________…. The Quran? The Southern Baptist bible, maybe? I digress. Poor pea-brained folks. I’ll just put it this way - I like boys, and I like making music, and I’m pretty damn good at it.”
The statement continued by Williams revealing that he had the chance to present himself as the “new Hank Williams”, but he actively fought against the expectations around that. “Instead, I wrote my own original music, wore wtf I wanted to, and was able to eventually create my own image and sound,” he wrote.
“Don’t even get me started on coattails. My family’s name and image has been used over and over and over, and it goes without explaining. Hence Waylon’s line in ‘The Conversation.’ The coattails have been ridden and worn out for over 70 years now. I could’ve really ridden them. Like you’ve never seen.. I chose not to.”
In the Facebook comments, Williams added that not even six years ago, he was considering quitting music. “Thank y’all so much for this encouragement n affirming. Not even 6 weeks ago I was considering giving it up, just haven’t had the confidence to carry on and do the social media game and all,” he shared. “You can hear it in ‘lost its allure’ for sure. I’m now pretty excited again. Love to y’all. Thank you”.
Tomorrow (26 August), Sam Williams will announce new music on social media. A new release will follow Williams’ 2021 debut album, Glasshouse Children.