Keith Urban Honors Don Williams With Touching Video [WATCH]
Keith Urban honored Don Williams with a sweet post to social media shortly after Williams' death on Friday (Sept. 8). Urban counts Williams among his many influences, specifically because of Urban's father's love for the artist.
"I cannot put into words the depth of sadness I feel right now at hearing of Don's passing," Urban writes along with a short video, which is a clip from the pair's "Imagine That" music video. The song appears on Williams' 2012 album And So It Goes, and its music video shows the two performing the song together and goofing around in between takes.
“For me, all roads lead to Don Williams. And the reason I say that is because my dad loved country music ... and he was a fan of the Pozo Seco Singers, and there was a member in that group called Donald Williams. And when Donald became Don Williams and went solo, my dad followed him as a fan, a real fan," Urban recalled in 2015. "The records I grew up with were mostly Don Williams records. My dad went and bought every record Don made the day it went on sale."
Urban's recent single "Blue Ain't Your Color" is heavily influenced by Williams' style -- specifically, Urban notes, "that kind of strong downbeat, backbeat and little in-between rhythmic thing."
“Don also had that attitude, too, like, the song is the picture, and the record is the frame," Urban reflects. "You’ve got to find the right frame, not too much and not too little, to make the picture really work."
Williams was 78 years old when he died following a brief illness. After making a name for himself in folk music as a member of the Pozo Seco Singers, Williams found his way to Nashville. By 1971, he had earned a songwriting contract, and the following year, he signed with JMI Records. Williams debuted on the country charts in 1973, with “The Shelter of Your Eyes,” the same year in which he released his first album, Don Williams Volume One. In 1974, Williams earned his first No. 1 song, “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me.”
From 1974 through 1991, all of Williams’ singles landed in the Top 40 on the Billboard country charts. He was named Male Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards in 1978, and in 2010, Williams became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In March of 2016, Williams announced his retirement. The 6-foot-1 singer was recently forced to cancel his 2016 tour due to an unexpected hip replacement surgery, which likely played a part in his decision to retire. Williams most recently released a new album, Reflections, in 2014 and spent much of 2015 on the road.
In 2017, Williams was the subject of a tribute album, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams. The disc features Lady Antebellum and Garth Brooks, among many others.
Funeral arrangements for Williams are pending.
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