HANK WILLIAMS JR. HAS KID ROCK

CMT GIANTS: HANK WILLIAMS JR. SPECIAL HAS KID ROCK
HANK WILLIAMS JR. SALUTED BY ALL HIS ROWDY FRIENDS: KID ROCK, TOBY KEITH, STEVEN TYLER, TIM McGRAW, ETC.

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The big news is that Kid Rock and a bunch of hard-drinking fellas got together to have a good time– and a fight didn’t break out!

Actually the wild celebration for Hank Williams Jr. was pretty tame considering all the bad boys of rock, country and sports who were on hand. Kid Rock, Toby Keith, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and football’s mouthpiece Terry Bradshaw were among Hank Jr.’s rowdy friends who showed up to sing Hank’s hit songs and pay tribute to the legendary music rebel. And it was all filmed for cable’s CMT.

Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and sassy Gretchen Wilson were also part of the raucous party that took place on stage at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal Studios Hollywood. They were there to honor the man who admitted he rather be on a hunting trip in Tennessee than fly into Los Angeles for the TV special CMT Giants: Hank Williams Jr., premiering Nov. 17.

But Hank Jr., called Bocephus by his good buddies (a nickname his dad gave him), did show up and basked in the glowing salutes by his peers. He sat on a sofa set up in front of the stage, and enjoyed the country-rock concert that also included Shooter Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Buddy Guy and Holly Williams.

Hank Jr., well-known for his Monday Night Football opening, “Are you ready for some football,” has left an indelible legacy in the world of music. Although he follows in the family tradition of his father, country music icon Hank Williams (“Your Cheatin’ Heart”), he definitely made his own mark in the industry.

“We’re all here to honor his extraordinary life and music,” said Toby Keith, who saluted Hank Jr. for his unwavering personal convictions “and living life on his own terms, and making music his way.” Toby personally knows how hard that is.

Throughout his career, Hank Jr. helped shape Nashville’s cultural landscape with his unbridled creativity that put a hard rock style to country music. His music not only reflects his own life filled with rough times, but also the common experiences that united the fans that filled the Universal amphitheater. Thousands were there, whooping it up and singing along. Among the songs were “A Country Boy Can Survive,” “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” and “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down.”

The night kicked off with a blast from Kid Rock who sang “My Name is Bocephus,” and ended with a special performance by the honoree himself singing “Family Tradition.” Among those making presentations, Terry Bradshaw and Jessica Simpson turned out to be funnier than comic talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

Stars such as Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, John Madden, Al Michaels, ESPN’s Monday Night Football commentators, members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and others congratulated Hank on his CMT Giants tribute via taped messages.

Live on stage, there was a real warm family moment when Hank’s daughter Holly sang the duet “The Conversation” with Shooter Jennings, the son of Waylon Jennings. The classic country number was originally recorded by Hank Jr. and Waylon, and it was a treat to hear the second generation follow in their footsteps.

Many of the performers shared their favorite “Bocephus” memories. A fun time was had by all, especially when Johnny Knoxville presented Hank with a genuine jug of moonshine, passed around by all the good ol’ boys.
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Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines.
Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network.
For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications.
Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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