Jett Williams

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Jett Williams
Born Antha Belle Jett
(1953-01-06) January 6, 1953 (age 65)
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Relatives Hank Williams, Jr. (half-brother)

Jett Williams (born Antha Belle Jett; January 6, 1953)[1] is an American singer and songwriter.

Early life[edit]

Born Antha Belle Jett,[2] she is the daughter of country music icon Hank Williams and Bobbie Jett, whose brief relationship with Hank Williams occurred between his two marriages. She is a posthumous child; her birth on January 6, 1953, in Montgomery, Alabama occurred five days after her father's death on January 1.[1] Legally adopted by her paternal grandmother, Lillie Williams Stone, in December 1954,[1] who renamed her Catherine Yvonne Stone. Following her grandmother's death in 1955, Stone was made a ward of the state of Alabama and subsequently adopted by parents who renamed her Cathy Louise Deupree.[3]

Court fight[edit]

Jett knew she was adopted, but she did not learn who her biological parents were until the early 1980s.[4] Although Hank Williams had executed a custody agreement three months before her birth that gave him custody of his unborn daughter, she was forced to go to extreme lengths to prove the relationship and be recognized as Williams' daughter.[3]

In September 1984, she met and retained Washington, D.C. investigative attorney Keith Adkinson to help her.[5] Within days, he had a copy of the custody contract, and within months had conclusive proof Jett was defrauded for the financial gain of others. A lawsuit was filed based on this discovery. On September 28, 1986, Jett and Keith married in Washington.[6] Adkinson died June 19, 2013.

In 1985, the Alabama State Court ruled she was the daughter of Hank Williams. On October 26, 1987, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled she was entitled to her half-share in the Williams estate, as she had been the victim of fraud and judicial error.[3] Hank Williams, Jr. appealed the case in federal court, but the ruling stood when the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 1990.[6]

Book and honors[edit]

In 1990, she published her autobiography Ain't Nothin' as Sweet as My Baby.[6]

In 2000, the Tennessee legislature passed HJR 621 designating May 18, 2000 as "Jett Williams Appreciation Day" in Macon County. [7][8]

Sole rights[edit]

In January, 2006, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling stating Hank Williams' heirs — son Randall Hank Williams and daughter Jett Williams — have the sole rights to sell his old recordings made for a Nashville radio station in the early 1950s. The court rejected claims made by Polygram Records and Legacy Entertainment in releasing recordings Williams made for the "Mother's Best Flour Show", a program that originally aired on WSM. The recordings, which Legacy Entertainment acquired in 1997, include live versions of Williams' hits and covers of other songs. Polygram contended Williams' contract with MGM Records, which Polygram now owns, gave them rights to release the radio recordings. In October 2008, a selection of the "Mother's Best" recordings were released by Time-Life as Hank Williams: The Unreleased Recordings.

Jett Williams toured with the current touring version of the Drifting Cowboys to sing her father's songs.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Winford Turner (August 27, 1985). "Stone: I know Hank's my dad". TimesDaily. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  2. ^ Beville Dunkerley (16 October 2014). "Hank Williams Movie Casts Four New Roles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Escott, Colin; Florita, Kira (2001). Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press – via Questia (subscription required). p. 187. ISBN 0-306-81052-2. 
  4. ^ "DON NOBLE: Rheta Grimsley Johnson Writes about Hank Williams". Halifax Media Group. The Tuscaloosa News – via Questia (subscription required). April 8, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2016. 
  5. ^ Ali, Lorraine (November 3, 2008). "A Cure for the Long-Gone Lonesome Blues". Newsweek – via Questia (subscription required). Harmon Newsweek LLC. 152 (18): 64. Retrieved March 30, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Michelle Green. "Vindicated in court, Hank Williams's daughter, Jett, can claim a share of her father's estate—and his heritage," People, September 17, 1990 (Vol. 34, no. 11).
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  9. ^ Joanne Huebner (August 3, 1989). "Jett Williams to sing Hank's songs". Milwaukee Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 

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