Hank Williams Jr.‘s son, country singer Sam Williams, has come out as gay in the music video for his new song, “Tilted Crown,” and a subsequent interview.
Williams’ new video loosely documents his growing up, and it shows him kissing his boyfriend on camera for the first time.
As People reports, Williams spoke to Hunter Kelly on Apple Music’s Proud Radio With Hunter Kelly podcast, where he revealed that he had previously planned to address his sexuality in a video for another song that did not come to pass. The directors of his new video felt strongly that including the kiss would help tell the authentic story of his life.
“At first I kind of thought that, ‘I’m tackling something else with this.’ And I thought that maybe that’s for another project,” Williams states. “But again, I felt like I was promoting invisibility, like I wasn’t being visible and wasn’t being myself. And I just thought it was the perfect opportunity to just show who I was.”
Williams tells Kelly that his pronouns are he/him and that he identifies as gay.
“And I’ve never said that to anybody else,” he admits. “I mean, people at my label know and people in my personal life know, but this is the first time that I’ve ever been, besides a show or two, that I’ve ever been this public about it. And it is scary, but it feels good.”
Williams grew up in the rural town of Paris, Tenn., and he says that he struggled to hide his sexuality and fit in with the crowd growing up. He’s hoping that his coming out openly can help another child who might be struggling with the same issues right now.
“So I think at the end of the day, that’s one of the most important reasons why I’m being so open,” the 25-year-old singer shares.
The “Tilted Crown” music video also touches on his relationship with his sister, Katie, who died in a car crash in 2020. Williams tells Kelly that he came out to his sister while they were four-wheeling in Alabama just months before her death. Her reaction was “so emotional,” he recalls.
“I think that she could see pain that I was in from hiding that and just had no idea. And I was like, ‘There’s been some situations that have made me uncomfortable, and I just want you to know.’ And I could just see that there was such a pain there of not knowing,”
Williams’ “Tilted Crown” video also depicts an older man who actively tries to push the young boy character to act more “manly.” He’s received feedback from fans who believe that’s a depiction of his own relationship with his famous father, which he says isn’t entirely accurate.
“That’s not necessarily playing my dad, that’s playing society as a whole,” he explains, adding that society expects and encourages certain behaviors in young girls, and a separate set of behaviors for young boys, regardless of whether or not they fit those children’s individual interests.
“My relationship with my dad wasn’t really like that at all,” he adds. “He didn’t push me to be in music. He pushed me go to hunting, I do have to give him that. He did push me to go hunting. I just wanted to clear that up just in case… It’s a little bit hard for me to watch because it’s just so honest, and it just brings back so much, and it’s all there on the surface.”
Williams released his latest project, Glasshouse Children: Tilted Crown, on Oct. 14. His interview on Apple Music’s Proud Radio With Hunter Kelly airs on Sunday (Oct. 30) at 5PM ET.
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