Tragedy stuck the family of Hank Williams Jr. on June 13: his 27-year-old daughter, Katherine Williams-Dunning, died in a single car accident.
That loss lends new meaning to "The World: Alone," the latest offering by Katherine's brother, Nashville singer-songwriter Sam Williams.
It's an introspective, acoustic-driven tune about loss, written before Sam's sister passed away.
"I wanted to keep the atmosphere longing and spacey for this song," Sam says in a statement. "It has a mystic feel in its core. The lyrics ended up being as clairvoyant as they could be, but I just let the words fall to the paper. My co-writer and I wanted to keep the chorus simple and emotional, and drive home the message that the biggest dream in our heart has been taken.. but it's better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all."
Per a press release, Sam's gorgeous, soul-crushing song is "about wanting to show my love for the great world out there."
"The sad thing is we don't always get that chance," Sam continues. "A year later my sister was tragically killed in June. As the months went by, when I would come back to this song, it touched me in a different way. I realized that I wrote this song, a year prior, about how badly I wanted to show Katie the world. I had no idea I would ever lose her. One day I had an epiphany that she is with God and can see the entire world now, without my help. I wanted to honor her with releasing this song on her birthday, because she was always so proud of my career."
Family tradition permeates Sam's songs. Back in 2018, he released a music video for "The Lost Grandchild's Plea," a musical conversation with his grandparents, country legends Hank Williams Sr. and Audrey Williams.
Williams-Dunning was one of Hank Williams Jr.'s five children. Shelton Hank Williams (a.k.a. Hank Williams III or Hank III) is the only child from Williams Jr.'s marriage to his first wife, Gwen Yeargain. Country singers Holly Williams and Hilary Williams' mom is Williams Jr.'s second wife, Becky White, while Williams-Dunning and a fourth country music singer in the family, Sam Williams, are the children of Williams Jr. and his third wife, Mary Jane Thomas.
Sam's other songs of note include "Darkwater," "Gemini" and "Weatherman."