Happy Birthday Hank Williams Jr. – Celebrating the Country Music Outlaw With His Iconic Moments

by Jim Casey

Hank Williams Jr. is celebrating his 72nd birthday on May 26, 2021. No matter how you know him—Bocephus, Rockin’ Randall, or Jr.—the man has been a force in country music for more than 50 years.

Let’s take a look at a handful of Jr.’s best moments over the course of his storied career.

No. 1 Hits & Albums

Hank Williams Jr. scored 10 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In addition, Bocephus took nine albums to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Hank earned his first No. 1 single with “Eleven Roses” in 1972.

5 Entertainer of the Year Awards

Hank Jr. won the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 1987 and 1988. He also won the ACM Entertainer of the Year Award in 1987, 1988, and 1989. Winning five—or more—Entertainer of the Year Awards puts Hank Jr. in hallowed company alongside artists such as Garth Brooks (9), George Strait (5), Alabama (8), Kenny Chesney (8), and Luke Bryan (5).

19.5 Million Albums Sold

According to the RIAA, Hank Jr. has sold 19.5 million units, which puts him Top 25 on the all-time list for country artists. His 1982 Greatest Hits album has been certified 5X Platinum for sales of 5 million units. Bocephus can claim an additional seven Platinum albums, as well as one Platinum single, “A Country Boy Can Survive.”

Hank Has Grammy Power

Hank Jr. earned 10 Grammy nominations during his career. In 1988, Hank Jr. recorded a duet of “There’s a Tear in My Beer” with his late father, Hank Sr., using electronic merging technology. Not only did the tune become a Top 10 hit on country radio, but it also won Best Country Vocal Collaboration at the 32nd Grammy Awards.

Arena Country Rock

Before Garth Brooks was swinging across stages in the 1990s, Rockin’ Randall was a pioneer in bringing arena rock productions to country music. Of course, his catalog of hits—”Family Tradition,” “Honky Tonkin’,” “Born to Boogie,” and more—served as the perfect soundtrack for rowdy fans who flocked to see Jr. in action.

Hank Williams Jr. in the Hall

In August 2020, Hank Jr. was FINALLY elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Hank Jr. joined his father, Hank Williams Sr., who entered the Hall in 1961.

“Bocephus has been eyeing this one for a while,” said Hank Jr. in a press release. “It’s a bright spot during a difficult year. I have been making Top 10 records for 56 years. I fell off a mountain and tried to reinvent myself as a truly individual artist and one who stepped out of the shadows of a very famous man…one of the greatest. I’ve got to thank all those rowdy friends who, year after year, still show up for me. It’s an honor to carry on this family tradition. It is much appreciated.”