Is Struggle Jennings Related to Waylon Jennings? The Truth Behind the Family Ties

If you are a fan of country rap music, you might have heard of Struggle Jennings, a rapper from Nashville, Tennessee. But did you know that he is also related to one of the most legendary country music stars of all time, Waylon Jennings? In this article, we will explore the family ties between Struggle and Waylon, and how they influenced each other’s musical careers.

Who is Struggle Jennings?

Struggle Jennings is the stage name of William Curtis Harness Jr., who was born on May 31, 1980. He is the grandson of instrumental rock guitarist Duane Eddy and country musician Jessi Colter, who was married to Waylon Jennings from 1969 until his death in 2002. Struggle’s uncle is Shooter Jennings, another country music artist and the son of Waylon and Jessi.

Struggle grew up listening to rap music and was inspired by artists like Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., and Outkast. He started rapping at a young age and got involved in the underground hip hop scene in Nashville. However, he also faced many challenges and struggles in his life, such as drug addiction, legal troubles, and incarceration.

In 2011, he was sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges. While in prison, he released his debut album I Am Struggle, which featured a mix of rap and country influences. He also appeared on Yelawolf’s mixtape Wyte Dawg in 2013.

After being released from prison in 2016, Struggle resumed his musical career and signed with Yelawolf’s label Slumerican. He released several albums and EPs, such as Return of the Outlaw, Waylon & Willie (a trilogy of collaborative albums with Jelly Roll), Spiritual Warfare (with his mother Jenni Eddy Jennings), Sunny Days (with his daughter Brianna Harness), The Widow’s Son, Angels & Outlaws (with Trap DeVille and Brianna Harness), Legends (with Adam Calhoun), Troubadour of Troubled Souls, and Outlaw Shit (with Adam Calhoun).

Struggle’s music is characterized by his raw and honest lyrics, his blend of rap and country elements, and his homage to his musical heritage. He often references his grandfather Waylon Jennings in his songs and samples his music.

Who is Waylon Jennings?

Waylon Jennings was one of the most influential and popular country music artists of all time. He was born on June 15, 1937, in Littlefield, Texas. He started playing guitar at a young age and performed on local radio stations. He also worked as a disc jockey and met Buddy Holly, who became his mentor and friend.

In 1959, Jennings was supposed to fly with Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) on a plane that crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing all on board. Jennings gave up his seat to Richardson and later said that the incident haunted him for years.

Jennings moved to Nashville in 1965 and signed with RCA Records. He became part of the outlaw country movement, which rebelled against the mainstream Nashville sound and embraced a more raw and authentic style of country music. He collaborated with artists like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser.

Jennings recorded dozens of albums and had many hit songs, such as “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”, “I’ve Always Been Crazy”, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)”, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, “Good Hearted Woman”, “Amanda”, “Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)”, and “Highwayman”.

Jennings also acted in several movies and TV shows, such as Nashville Rebel, Mackintosh & T.J., Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Stagecoach, Follow That Bird, The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James,

and Married… with Children. He also narrated the popular TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.

Jennings struggled with drug addiction for many years and suffered from diabetes and heart problems. He died on February 13,

2002, at the age of 64.

How are Struggle Jennings and Waylon Jennings related?

Struggle Jennings and Waylon Jennings are related by marriage, not by blood. Struggle’s grandmother, Jessi Colter, was Waylon’s fourth and final wife. They married in 1969 and had one son, Shooter Jennings, who is Struggle’s uncle.

Struggle never met his biological grandfather, Duane Eddy, who divorced Jessi in 1968. He considered Waylon as his grandfather and looked up to him as a father figure. Waylon also supported Struggle’s musical aspirations and gave him advice and encouragement.

According to Genius Celebs, Struggle once said:

> “Waylon was a father figure in my life. He taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to be a rebel. He taught me how to be an outlaw.”

Struggle also inherited Waylon’s last name as part of his stage name, as a tribute to his legacy and influence.


Struggle Jennings and Waylon Jennings are two generations of musicians who share a family bond and a musical vision. They are both rebels and outlaws who express their truth through their songs. They are both related by marriage, as Struggle is the step-grandson of Waylon. They are both inspired by each other’s music and carry on the tradition of country rap.

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