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Holly Williams Takes Her Own Highway

Holly Williams
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Holly Williams comes from one of the most famous families in country music. The granddaughter of legend Hank Williams and the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr., it may seem that her path was formed before she was even born.

Not so, says the songstress. In fact, she says her father has taken a decidedly hands-off approach to her career, which is just the way she wants it.

“Even though my dad was a country singer, he didn’t play music for us at all at home,” she tells CMT Edge. “He said, ‘I’m not Bocephus. I’m Daddy.’ So when he was home, it was hunting and fishing. It was not music. So I found music I loved.”

The 32-year-old adds that she has had to work for everything she has, and hasn’t received any preferential treatment because of her family’s fame.

“I have a very successful dad, but he wants us to be our own people. He’s always been very supportive,” Williams explains. “I mean, he’s not going to buy me a tour bus. I wouldn’t expect him to.”

Williams isn’t necessarily looking for the same career as her father, either. While her latest album, ‘The Highway,’ received rave reviews and climbed into the Top 10, she isn’t hoping to headline arenas anytime soon.

“For me, I win in small, singer-songwriter club, small theaters,” she says. “That’s my fan base. It’s a sit-down, listening crowd, and they love the storytelling part of it and all the stories behind the scenes. It’s just going where it fits you. I’m not thinking every single day about what radio station is or isn’t playing my song. I’m thinking about putting on the best show I can for the fans. It just teaches you that if you want to do this for a living, you have to keep doing it for yourself.”

Williams, who wrote or co-wrote every song on ‘The Highway,’ acknowledges that she looks for divine inspiration when writing for her albums.

“I’m the girl that prays for a song. I literally do,” she notes. “That may sound ridiculous to some people, but I believe God gives us creativity and ideas, and I’m always praying that I’ll get more. You have to be open and in a still moment. Every time I write a song, I feel blessed to be able to have that creativity for it to come out of nowhere like that song did.”

Williams will hit the road in 2014, performing several shows with singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, as well as headlining numerous solo shows. She will also head overseas for the international release of ‘The Highway.’ Keep track of her upcoming concerts here.

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