WATCH: Hank Williams Jr. Emotionally Reflects on Success after Entertainer of the Year Win at ACM Awards 1989

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Rock the South Festival)

Hank Williams Jr. was celebrated as the Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1989. After receiving the award from Dennis Weaver and Valerie Harper, the country star shared what the award meant to him.

“Boy, I didn’t think three in a row now, no,” Williams said at the award podium. “But, I didn’t think a lot of things four or five years ago. I didn’t ever think I would get the first one. I’m a late bloomer, a survivor, a fighter, a contender. I can be a champion, but I’m nothing without all of you in this building and all of the fans out there. That’s true.”

The singer went on to reference a project created with footage from his late father, Hank Williams Sr., earlier that same year.

“I don’t know how long it will go on,” he said during the ceremony. “The video with Daddy was, uh, the most special thing I ever did in my life.”

The video to which Williams Jr. refers was for the song, “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” It shows Williams Jr. singing alongside the father he lost when he was just 3 years old.

Watch Hank Williams Jr. give his acceptance speech here:

Hank Williams Jr. to Enter Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

In August, it was announced that Hank Williams Jr. would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Bocephus has been eyeing this one for a while,” Williams told Variety. “It’s a bright spot during a difficult year,” he said in reference to his daughter, Katherine Williams-Dunning, who died in a car crash in June.

“I have been making Top 10 records for 56 years,” he added. “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.”