Hank Williams is considered one of the most influential country music artists of the 20th century. The popular country singer and composer in the 1940s and early 1950s earned the label "King of Hillbillies" from his followers.
Williams sang mountain ballads in a nasal voice, accompanying himself on guitar, which he learned to play at age 6. The lanky singer shot to fame with the song "Lovesick Blues." Recorded in 1948, the song reached number one on Billboard’s top country singles and sold more than 1 million copies.
His other most popular songs included "Cold, Cold Heart," "Wedding Bells," "Mansion on the Hill," and "Move on Over."
He died suddenly at the age of 29, while traveling to a New Year's Day concert in Ohio. A coroner's jury ruled that the death was a result of hemorrhaging and a heart condition, but alcohol was found in Williams' system.
At the time of his death Williams had been working at a Shreveport, La., radio station and was under contract to MGM. Only months before, he had married Miss Billie Jones. He had been divorced in 1952.
Williams' children (Hank Williams Jr. and Jett Williams) and grandchildren (Hank Williams III, Hilary Williams and Holly Williams) would later pursue musical careers.