Hilary Williams, Hank Jr.’s daughter and Hank, Sr.’s granddaughter wrote the song “Sign of Life” and authored the book “Sign of Life” coming out of a long healing process after a terrible car accident with her sister Holly.
Hank, Jr. says “Hilary sings like a queen, like a star”. Kid Rock said about her voice, “Man, Hilary’s got the bellows!“
In 2006 Hilary was involved in a horrendous one-car accident. When the Jaws of Life finally pried Hilary’s shattered body free, she was in shock and barely breathing, suffering two broken legs, several broken ribs, a ruptured colon, bruised lungs. Her back, collarbone, tailbone, pelvis, and right femur fractured. Her hips crushed. She lost a large amount of blood waiting on the ambulance to arrive, then as EMTs scrambled to stabilize her Hilary Williams died. But that was only the beginning.
This is a story of struggle and pain. But more so, it is a story of second chances, of love and resolve and recovery. When she was pulled back into life, Hilary’s world changed. It was the beginning of a long, courageous, and inspiring journey undergoing 23 surgeries and years of therapy learning the meaning of strength, not only the strength to survive, but the strength to live with the legend, the talent, the burden, and the privilege of her place in country music’s most famous family.
When she asked Dr. Croce if she would always be in pain. He answered, “Pain is a sign of life”. As recovery continued, Hilary began to write songs again. Finally able to walk under her own power, Hilary returned to performing and recording. Hilary’s book, Sign of Life, (an autobiography tracing her experiences during her return to health), was published Nov. 2010 by Da Capo Press.
Sign of Life gives context to Hilary’s place in the world by telling the stories of her grandfather and dad, Hank SR and JR, as only a close family member could. Hilary recounts the challenges her grandfather faced and addresses his untimely death. She draws parallels with her dad’s near fatal fall from the side of a mountain that forever changed his life and ultimately led him to move out of the shadows of his famous father and step into the spotlight as one of country music’s most innovative and celebrated entertainers.
When you are 3rd generation country music royalty, the world will always see you differently, but it’s what’s inside that counts to Hilary Williams. Her definition of being beautiful means “on the inside and out, with a beautiful soul and spirit”.
Sign of Life is just a step in Hilary Williams’ journey as she carves out her own place in her family’s storied legacy. In the wake of misfortune, Hilary carried on the ‘family tradition’ writing songs and pursuing her own music career.