Singer/songwriter Holly Williams recently visited the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Williams discussed her songwriting process, being born into a musical family and her new album, The Highway, among other topics.
"I think one of the first songs I wrote was about my dad's best friend, who lost a cancer battle," said Williams, the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. "My dad was pretty against me going into music in the beginning, and I wrote this really long kind of story of his life and I sent it to my dad and he said, 'OK. You have the talent, I love these lyrics and I know you're doing it for passion.'"
Born and raised in Nashville, Williams comes from music royalty as the granddaughter and daughter of GRAMMY winners Hank Williams Sr. and Williams Jr., respectively. Williams joined the family business at 17 and released her debut album, The Ones We Never Knew, in 2004. She followed with 2009's Here With Me, which peaked at No. 37 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. Released in February, The Highway, climbed to No. 18 on the Country Albums chart. Produced by GRAMMY winner Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot), the album features 11 tracks written or co-written by Williams, including "Drinkin'" and "Let You Go," and collaborations with Dierks Bentley, Jackson Browne and Gwyneth Paltrow. Williams will begin a U.S. tour on March 9 in Nashville, with dates scheduled through July.