Hank Williams Jr., a five-time Entertainer of the Year recipient and the only country artist to ever win an Emmy award (multiple, by the way), has been named #13 of Billboard Magazine’s Top 25 Country Artists from 1985-2011. Earlier this summer, Billboard ranked the top 25 country artists of the last twenty-five years, combing their Country Songs and Country Album charts since 1985.
Anyone who thinks country music didn’t attract a sizable youth audience before te early 90’s must have slept through Hank Williams Jr.’s chart run during the previous decade. He first appeared on Country Songs in 1964 with a cover of his legendary father’s 1950 smash “Long Gone Lonesome Blues,” but found a new, youthful following starting in the mid-70’s. He resonated with rebellious young fans via songs like “Family Tradition” and “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and notched successful version of his father’s hits, such as “Honky Tonkin’.” At one point in the mid-80’s, the younger Williams simultaneously had six titles on Billboard’s Country Albums chart.