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See Photos of Hank Williams Jr. Through the Years

Since his arrival into the world on May 26, 1949, in Shreveport, La., Hank Williams Jr. has been destined to sing.

Early on, the country artist was nicknamed “Bocephus” by his father, Hank Williams. The name came from Grand Ole Opry comedian Ron Brasfield’s ventriloquist dummy, and it stuck despite the elder Williams’ passing only a few years later, in 1953.

Williams Jr. carried on his father’s legacy for a number of years by singing his music, impersonating his style and even doing an album full of duets with his father, but he struggled to find his own place in the country music world. Then, in 1975, his career turned when he released Hank Williams Jr. and Friends and veered toward a Southern rock style that was rowdier and more outlaw-esque than his father’s music.

However, that same year, an almost-fatal mountain climbing accident nearly killed Williams Jr., and the resulting extensive amount of surgery and recovery changed his appearance. It was intense: He had to learn to speak and sing again.

Williams Jr. made his comeback slowly but surely and, since then, has won several Grammy Awards, been named Entertainer of the Year, scored many No. 1 hits and sold a whole bunch of records. His career has gone up and down throughout the years, but it’s clear that Williams Jr. finally found his niche — and that’s a good thing. After all, country music is a “family tradition.”

Flip through the photo gallery above to see pictures of Williams Jr. throughout the years.

NEXT: How Well Do You REALLY Know Hank Williams Jr.?

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