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Holly Audrey Williams (born March 12, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is the granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr., the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and half-sister of Hank Williams III. Williams has released three studio albums: The Ones We Never Knew in 2004, Here with Me in 2009 and The Highway in 2013. The Highway was released on Williams' own label, Georgiana Records and reached number 146 on the Billboard 200.
|Birth name||Holly Audrey Williams|
|Born||March 12, 1981|
Cullman, Alabama, U.S
Williams's mother, Becky, is a native of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, and was married for ten years to Hank Williams Jr. She was born in Cullman, Alabama, and has an elder sister named Hilary. Her parents separated when she was young. At age 17, Williams began playing one of her father's guitars, and soon began writing songs.
Williams graduated from Brentwood Academy and decided to pursue her passion of songwriting and continue playing guitar and piano. She bought her domain name, recorded an EP, started a website, and booked herself all over Nashville clubs.
Soon after signing with CAA, she performed many shows throughout the US and usually toured alone with a guitar and keyboard driving her mother's Suburban across the country. She went to the UK to open for songwriter Ron Sexsmith with a backpack full of EPs and a guitar. After the release of her first EP in 2003, she signed with Universal South Records and toured with Billy Bob Thornton, Jewel, Train, Keith Urban, and Kasey Chambers. Universal South released her debut album, The Ones We Never Knew, in 2004. This album garnered Williams much critical acclaim[by whom?] and she headlined shows in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, Australia, Wales, Ireland, and the US.
In March 2006, Williams was injured in a car crash with her sister Hilary Williams, and canceled her upcoming tour. Her sister was seriously injured, enduring 23 surgeries. Holly Williams' right arm and wrist were broken; she was unsure of when she would play again. She wrote "Without Jesus Here With Me" about her experience during the time of the car accident; it was released on her next record. Hilary Williams wrote a book called Sign of Life about her experience. Holly Williams made small musical appearances at this time, one of them joining John C. Reilly in Nashville, Tennessee to sing "Let's Duet" during the release of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story on December 9, 2007.
After a long break Williams began playing guitar and writing songs again, she signed with Luke Lewis at Mercury Records. Williams' second studio album, Here with Me, was released in June 2009. To promote the album, Williams appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Chelsea Lately. People magazine named Williams' 2009 album "one of the top ten albums of the year". Billboard said it was "one of the best singer/songwriter albums to come out of Nashville". USA Today said "Hank Williams' granddaughter reveals a heart-on-sleeve intensity that might be grating were it not for the purity and potency of her milk-and-whiskey-kissed singing and the catchy clarity and integrity of her songs". She filmed a music video for "Alone" and "Three Days In Bed" in Paris, France.
Williams finished a six-week tour in Europe in early 2010, and continued the rest of the year headlining gigs and opening for other artists such as John Hiatt. After Bob Dylan called, Williams added her own music and lyrics to a half written Hank Williams Sr. lyric for a project entitled The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams that he assembled, released in September 2011. Jack White, Norah Jones, Merle Haggard and Lucinda Williams were alongside Williams for this project.
Williams was also a part of Let Us In, a project produced by Phil Madeira which includes artists singing their favorite Paul McCartney songs in tribute to Linda McCartney. Williams performed "My Love" from the Wings era. Steve Earle and Buddy Miller are also included on the album.
Williams was featured on the soundtrack for Flicka singing "Rodeo Road", written by Tom Douglas and Chuck Cannon. Tim McGraw (who starred in Flicka) named Williams, The Fray and Coldplay as his favorite artists in O, The Oprah Magazine saying "She has the ability to make you believe what she says, to make you feel vulnerable. She's intense and moody; she puts you in a time and place where you never would have imagined yourself—and then you're there." Mel Gibson met with Williams in Nashville and featured her on The Passion of The Christ soundtrack singing "How Can You Refuse Him Now", written by her grandfather.
Williams' third album, The Highway, co-produced by Williams and Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars) was released on February 5, 2013. She wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, which is common for her recordings. This album includes Dierks Bentley, Jakob Dylan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jackson Browne adding backing harmonies. The Highway was released to critical acclaim. American Songwriter magazine said "Williams has recorded her most accomplished, mature and world weary album. Even Hank Sr. would be proud." The New York Times stated "Williams is often closer to songwriters like John Prine or Bruce Springsteen, than the smiley Nashville mainstream." People Magazine said "it is sure to go down as one of the year's best country albums". A music video for "Drinkin'" aired on CMT networks.
Williams' store "H. Audrey" is a women's boutique in Nashville, that carries designer clothes. Her store has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Southern Living and Lucky magazine. The upstairs gallery at her store carries music photographs from her favorite photographers including Henry Diltz, Pattie Boyd and Jim Marshall.
Williams was married on September 27, 2009 to fellow musician Chris Coleman (who co-wrote three of the songs on The Highway) and they settled in Nashville. Their first child, Stella June Coleman, was born in Nashville on September 30, 2014. They welcomed their second child, Lillie Mae Louise, on March 8, 2016. Williams announced on the Grand Old Opry February 10, 2017, that a third child was due in June; a son, Arlo Gale, was born May 12, 2017.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|The Ones We Never Knew||—||—||—||—||—|
|Here with Me||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2005||"Sometimes"||—||The Ones We Never Knew|
|2009||"Keep the Change"||53||Here with Me|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2009||"Keep the Change"||Philip Andelman|
|"Three Days in Bed"|
|"The Highway"||David McClister|
|2014||"Waiting on June"||John Moessner|
|2016||"I'm Telling You"
(with John Prine)
|Joshua Britt/Neilson Hubbard|
- "Holly Williams biography". CMT. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- Jeffries, David. "Holly Williams biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- "Hilary Williams Recalls Tragic Car Accident in Sign of Life". Country Music Television. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Listen Up: JoBros grow up through the 'Trying Times'". USA Today. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "What's Playing in Tim McGraw's Ear?". O, The Oprah Magazine. October 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Holly Williams: The Highway". American Songwriter. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Jon Pareles (22 February 2013). "R&B From Another Edge, Jazz When It Was Still Fusing". New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Picks and Pans: Music". People. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Nashville Faces: Holly Williams". Nashville Lifestyles. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Country Singer Holly Williams Gets Married". People. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Eileen Finan (2014-09-30). "Holly Williams Welcomes Daughter Stella June". Retrieved 2014-09-30.
- "The Afternoon Off". www.theafternoonoff.com.
- "Holly Williams Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Holly Williams Album & Song Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Holly Williams Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "CMT : Videos : Holly Williams : The Highway". Country Music Television. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- "CMT : Videos : Holly Williams : Waiting On June". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- "CMT : Videos : John Prine, Holly Williams : I'm Telling You (feat. Holly Williams)". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 16, 2016.