Katie Williams, the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and his third wife, Mary Jane Thomas, should have turned 28 on Wednesday (Oct. 21). Instead, following her death in a car accident in June, her younger brother is marking the day by releasing a new song in her honor.

Sam Williams' "The World: Alone" was written in the fall of 2019, he shares in a press release.

"I was in a phase of manifestation. I thought it would be interesting to take how my heart was feeling that day and compound it with my dream to tour Europe. I threw some cities into the verses and poured my heart out about wanting to show my love for the great world out there," he explains.

After Katie's death, however, Williams' song took on a new meaning. "As the months went by, when I would come back to this song, it touched me in a different way. I realized that I wrote this song, a year prior, about how badly I wanted to show Katie the world," he says.

"I had no idea I would ever lose her. One day, I had an epiphany that she is with God and can see the entire world now, without my help," Williams adds. "I wanted to honor her with releasing this song on her birthday, because she was always so proud of my career."

Katie Williams died on June 13, at the age of 27, when the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe she was driving in Henry County, Tenn., about 100 miles west of Nashville, crossed a median and rolled over, traveling through the highway's northbound lanes before stopping on the shoulder. Her husband, 29-year-old Tyler Dunning — with whom she had two young children — was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to treat his injuries, while she was pronounced dead.

"I’m not sure about the rest of our lives without her, but I know she would want to bring the community together and there to be joy alongside the pain," Sam Williams shared in the days following his sister's death, while planning her memorial service. "She would want people to hold life preciously and graciously ... I miss you so much my girl!"

Williams spent two and a half years at Nashville's Belmont University before dropping out to focus on his music. He's one of a number of musicians in his family: In addition to his father and grandfather (country legend Hank Williams), Sam Williams' half-siblings Holly, Hilary and Hank III, are artists as well.

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