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Hank Williams III Wants Underdogs to Get a Chance in Mainstream Country

Hank Williams III
Robert Mora, Getty Images

Hank Williams III isn’t the first to speak out about the direction of mainstream country music, and he won’t be the last. The outlaw isn’t afraid to say just how he feels: he wants there be a level playing field for all types of country artists.

“It seems that pop country has stuck around a long time,” Williams explains to Fox News. “We’ve got to be progressing — new sounds have to happen — but it’s not just this [pop] sound and nothing else. It just doesn’t seem [the industry] is giving the underdogs much of a chance.”

Hank3 has felt this way for a long time and even sometimes expresses his sentiments in song. There was one in particular off of his 2006 album, ‘Straight to Hell,’ that poked fun at what country is today. The song, ‘D— in Dixie,’ says, “They say that I’m ill-mannered, that I’m gonna self-destruct, but if you know what I’m thinkin’ you’ll know that pop country really sucks.”

The grandson of Hank Williams has worked long and hard to get his music heard — especially since it isn’t a mainstream sound. Coined “hillbilly,” his music wasn’t immediately accepted by his record label. After some persuading, the label agreed to let him try his hand at marrying country with heavy metal.

“It’s really tough — if you’re on a major label and they want you to have a number one song, you need to do what they say,” Williams says. “I still believe in hope and that a good song will push itself.”

Where do you stand in the great pop-country debate?

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