b. Cathy Yvonne Williams, 6 January 1953, Montgomery, Alabama. USA. Williams’ mother was Frances ‘Bobbie’ Jett, her father Hank Williams. On 15 October 1952, Williams and Jett reached a legal agreement that he and his mother, Lillian, would be responsible for the as yet unborn child, who was born five days after her father’s sudden death. Before she was two she was legally adopted by Williams’ mother but less than two years later Lillian Williams died and the little girl was then adopted by parents who gave her a new name, then she was adopted again resulting in other name changes. Throughout her childhood she picked up tantalizing hints as to her father might be but it was not until she was 21 that she learned enough about her past to lead to her learning true details of her biological parents. Eventually, in 1985, the Alabama State Court officially declared her to be the daughter of Jett and Williams. Two years later, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that she was entitled to a half-share in the Williams estate, along with her half-brother, Hank Williams Jnr. , who is three years her senior. As the 90s ended, she and her half-brother ended many years of antipathy and were reconciled.
In 1986 Williams married Keith Adkinson, an investigative attorney who helped her discover her heritage. She published her autobiography in 1990, detailing much of her search for identity. Musically speaking, though, Williams’ identity has been clear for many years. She made her professional debut in 1989 and in 1993 appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. On tour, she has worked often with the Drifting Cowboys, a group led by original member Don Helms. The dedication Williams has to country music is readily apparent in her work onstage as well as offstage. Lafayette, Tennessee, has staged the annual Jett Williams Country Music Festival since 1998. Williams has worked tirelessly for charitable organizations and in matters of social importance and this was acknowledged in 2000 when the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing her work in Macon County where she lives, declaring 18 May 2000 as Jett Williams Appreciation Day.