American pop band Hanson, consisting of brothers Isaac (guitar, vocals), Taylor (keyboards, piano, vocals), and Zac Hanson (drums, vocals), achieved stardom in late 1990s with their debut single, “MMMBop,” from their 1997 album “Middle of Nowhere.” A fantastic hit, the song reached the top spot in almost 30 countries throughout the world, including the US and the UK. The song received two Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in 1998, while the boys were nominated for the Best New Artist category. “Middle of Nowhere” was Hanson's first release with Mercury Records following their indie albums, “Boomerang” (1995) and “MMMBop” (1996), and was a No. 1 hit in the UK, Germany and Australia. The album has sold 10 million copies worldwide. Despite the tremendous commercial success of “Middle Of Nowhere,” Hanson suffered from the merger that eliminated Mercury Records and were transferred to Island Def Jam Music Group, which they finally departed over creative differences with the label. Currently, the band records for their own independent label, 3CG Records. “Underneath” (2004), their first release on 3CG Records, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums. It was followed by “The Walk” (2007) and “Shout It Out” (2010). In 2005, Hanson was ranked No. 98 on the vh1 list of “100 Greatest Kid Stars.” Two years later, their single “MmmBop” was ranked No. 20 on VH1'S “Greatest Songs of the 90s.”
Childhood and Family:
Initially known as The Hanson Brothers, Hanson was formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers guitarist Isaac (born Clarke Isaac Hanson; November 17, 1980), vocalist and keyboardist Taylor (born Jordan Taylor Hanson; March 14, 1983) and drummer Zac (born Zachary Walker Hanson; October 22, 1985). As children, they used to perform '50s and '60s rock and R&B standards and gospel songs around the dinner table before starting playing at local festivals, at school, and around Tulsa.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac are the oldest children of Clarke Walker Hanson and Diana Hanson (née Lawyer). The Hanson family also includes younger siblings: Jessica Grace (born July 31, 1988), Avery Laurel (born 6, 1990), Joshua Mackenzie (born January 7, 1994) and Zoë Genevieve (born January 14, 1998).
On September 30, 2006, Isaac was married to his longtime girlfriend Nicole Dufresne (born 1983) in Tulsa in a ceremony in front of 300 guests. They welcomed their first child, Clarke Everett Hanson, on April 3, 2007. Their second son, James Monroe Hanson, was born on July 1, 2008. Met after a performance in Atlanta, GA in August 2000, Taylor married his two year girlfriend, Natalie Anne Bryant (born December 1983), on June 8, 2002 at the Ida Cason Chapel in Pine Mountain, GA. The couple have four children: Jordan Ezra (born October 31, 2002), Penelope Anne (born April 19, 2005), River Samuel (born September 4, 2006) and Viggo Moriah (born December 9, 2008). Zac married Kate Tucker on June 3, 2006 in a private ceremony held at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Their first child, son John Ira Shepherd Hanson (“Shepherd”), was born on May 27, 2008. Their second child, daughter Junia Rosa Ruth, was born on December 15, 2010.
Shout It Out
Hanson made their first professional performance in 1992 at the Mayfest Arts Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The three brothers spent the next three years searching for major labels but only finding a string of rejections. While waiting for a big break, they decided to independently release the debut album “Boomerang” on May 17, 1995, which included the original version of the song “More Than Anything,” which was later added, as a live version, to the album “Live From Albertane,” and other original materials as well as covers of The Coasters' “Poison Ivy,” The Jackson 5's “The Love You Save” and Baha Men's “Back to the Island.” Their second indie release, “MMMBop,” followed on March 17, 1996. It featured the original version of what would become the group's signature song, “MMMBop.”
Hanson's luck did not start to change until they performed at the South By Southwest (aka. SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. There they caught the attention of an A&R executive, Christopher Sabec, who became their manager and soon thereafter get them signed to Mercury Records.
The group first major label debut album, “Middle of Nowhere,” was released on May 6, 1997, with The Dust Brothers as producers. It received favorable reviews from critics and was a huge commercial success. The album rocketed to No. 2 in the Billboard 200 and topped the UK Albums Chart in June 1997. It also enjoyed a strong chart position in other countries around the world like Australia (#1), Germany (#1), Austria (#2), Switzerland (#2), Sweden (#4), Netherlands (#5) and Japan (#10). “Middle of Nowhere”has a total sales of 10 million copies worldwide. It was certified 4x platinum in the United States and double platinum in the United Kingdom.
Released on April 15, 1997, the lead single “MMMBop” was a phenomenal success. The song reached No. 1 in 27 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland and Mexico. It earned the group two Grammy nominations in 1998 for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The second single “Where's the Love” failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, but did manage to chart on the Top 40 Mainstream, Hot 100 Airplay and Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks at No. 6, No. 27 and No. 27, respectively. In the UK, the song peaked at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart and went silver. The third single “I Will Come to You” reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA. The fourth single “Weird” (1998) peaked at No. 19 the UK Singles Chart, becoming their fourth Top 20 hit there. It also did well in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, charting at No.12, No. 11 and No. 10, respectively. The song was also featured in the 1997 film “The Borrowers,” starring John Goodman, Jim Broadbent and Mark Williams. The fifth and finals single “Thinking of You” enjoyed success in Australia and Finland, where it reached the top 10.
In the wake of their success, the band released the Christmas album “Snowed In” on November 18, 1997. Recorded in London with Mark Hudson as producer, the album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA in December 1997, making it the the best selling holiday album of the year. November 1997 also saw the release of Hanson's first documentary, “Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere.”
On May 12, 1998, in response to the demand for their earlier work, Hanson released “3 Car Garage,” consisting of material from their “MMMBop” album minus four tracks. It reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 39 in the UK. During the summer of year, Hanson launched a highly successful concert tour, the “ Albertane Tour.” A live album called “Live From Albertane” was released on November 3, 1998, which Hanson produced with Elliot Scheiner. It peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard 200 and was a gold status in the US. The same period, the band also released their second documentary, “The Road to Albertane.” Hanson recorded the song “Gimme Some Lovin'” for the soundtrack of the 1998 Christmas film “Jack Frost,” starring Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston. Still in 1998, Hanson was nominated for Best New Artist at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.
Hanson returned with “This Time Around” on May 9, 2000 on The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG), after the band's label, Mercury Records, was merged with Island Def Jam. However, the album was not a commercial success due to lack of promotional funding, despite receiving very well respond from the critics, and the label finally removed funding for their tour. Back with their own fund, the band embarked on the “This Time Around Tour” during the summer and fall of 2000. “This Time Around” peaked at No. 19 in the Billboard 200 and No. 33 on the UK Albums Chart. It has been certified gold by the RIAA. The album produced two singles with the title track “This Time Around,” a Top 20 hit in the US, and “If Only,” which reached the top ten in Australia, Finland and Italy.
After three years of conflict, Hanson left Island Def Jam Records to look for more creative freedom. The label executive taught that new material from the band lacked marketability so they rejected many of their songs. These events were documented in the documentary film “Strong Enough to Break” (2006).
On April 20, 2004, Hanson released the studio album “Underneath” under their own indie label, 3GC Records, which they started in 2003. The album went to No. on the Billboard Top Independent Albums Chart in April 2004. It also charted at No. 25 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 49 on the UK Albums Chart. The album produced the two UK hit singles “Penny & Me” (#10) and “Lost Without Each Other” (#39). The band supported the album with the 2004 “Underneath Tour.” The third live DVD “Underneath Acoustic Live” was released in the USA on July 27, 2004 and in the UK on February 7, 2005. In 2005, the band embarked on “Live and Electric Tour.”
Hanson's second release on 3GC Records, “The Walk” was released on July 24, 2007 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and on April 30, 2007 in the UK and on February 21, 2007 in Japan. It reached No. 56 in the Billboard 200 and No. 83 in the UK. The second single “Go” charted at No. 44 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 3 on the UK Independent Singles Chart. The band had “The Walk Tour” in (2007 and “The Walk Around The World Tour” in 2008.
Following “Use Your Sole Tour” in 2009, Hanson resurfaced with the eighth studio album “Shout It Out” on June 8, 2010. The album peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard 200. It has produced two singles with “Thinking 'Bout Somethin'” (2010) and “"Give a Little” (2011). The band hit the ros on “Shout It Out Tour” in 2010 in support of the album.