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Billie Jean Jones Eshliman Williams Horton Berlin (born August 12, 1933), professionally known as Billie Jean Horton, was a country music performer who was best known for her marriages to country singers Hank Williams and Johnny Horton.
The daughter of a police chief from Bossier City, Louisiana, she was already divorced from a first husband, Harrison Eshliman when she was introduced to Hank by her then boyfriend, country singer Faron Young. They married in October 1952, when she was 19 years old. They first married in a private ceremony in Minden, Louisiana, then repeated their vows before sold-out audiences at two Williams concerts at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
Williams died from heart failure on New Year's Day 1953. Late that same year, she married country singer Johnny Horton and became important in promoting his career. Horton died in an automobile accident in 1960, widowing her a second time. She then worked as a recording artist, with her record "Ocean of Tears" hitting the country top 40 in 1961, and had a relationship with Johnny Cash (then still married to his first wife, Vivian Liberto). Later she married and divorced a fourth husband, insurance executive Kent Berlin. In 1971 a federal court ruled that, despite the fact that her first divorce (from Eshliman) might not have been final before her wedding with Williams, she had married Williams in good faith and their marriage was entitled to a presumption of validity. She became known for her energetic efforts on behalf of the reputations and estates of both of her famous husbands.
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