Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Kim Williams passed away Feb. 11 at the age of 68.
He went on to pen some of the biggest country hits of the 1990s and early 2000s, including Randy Travis‘ “Three Wooden Crosses”, Clay Walker‘s “Who Needs You Baby”, Keith Anderson‘s “Pickin’ Wildflowers”, Reba McEntire‘s “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”, and Brooks & Dunn‘s “Honky Tonk Truth”.
He also established a close working relationship with Garth Brooks during the beginning of his career in the late 1980s. He went on to write Brooks’ massive hit, “Ain’t Goin’ Down Till The Sun Comes Up,” as well as “Papa Loved Mama,” “She’s Gonna Make It,” and “It’s Midnight Cinderella.”
In 1974, Williams nearly lost his life in a fire at a glass plant in Johnson City, sustaining severe burns across his body. According to the Tennessean, he would frequently travel to Nashville to undergo medical treatment following the incident. His presence in the Music City and brush with death helped inspire him to pursue his dream of songwriting. As a result, he leaves behind a catalog of incredible songs that have helped shaped country music into what it is today.
“Yesterday the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame lost one of its finest members,” Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Pat Alger said in a statement. “Kim Williams overcame more adversity than anyone I know to become one of the best and most colorful songwriters to ever come out of this town.”
Funeral plans for Williams are still pending.