Musician Zac Hanson is famous as member of the pop rock band Hanson,
along with his brothers Isaac and Taylor. He plays drums, percussion,
piano, guitar and also sings back-up and lead vocals. Formed in 1992,
Hanson enjoyed a tremendous commercial success with their major label
debut album, “Middle of Nowhere” (1997, Mercury), which
sold over 10 million copies worldwide. With “MMMBop”
(1997), the band's most successful single to date, Zac becomes
the youngest Grammy nominated songwriter as well as the second youngest
person ever to be nominated for a Grammy Award, behind king of pop
Michael Jackson. After switching to Island Records, which resulted in a
gold album in 2000 called “This Time Around,” Zac and his
brothers decided to go independent and started 3CG Records in late
2003. The boys have released three albums under 3CG:
“Underneath” (2004), “The Walk” (2007) and
“Shout It Out” (2010).
Childhood and Family:
Zachary Walker Hanson, who would later be famous as Zac Hanson, was
born on October 22, 1985, Arlington, Virginia, to Walker Hanson and
Diana Hanson. His father worked in an oil company in Tulsa, Oklahoma
and moved the family to places like Ecuador, Venezuela and Trinidad and
Tobago before moving back to Tulsa. Zac is the third child in his
family. He has two older brothers, Isaac (born November 17, 1980) and
Taylor (born March 14, 1983), and four younger siblings, Jessica Grace
'Jessie' (born July 31, 1988), Avery Laurel (born November 4, 1990),
Joshua Mackenzie 'Mac' (born January 7, 1994) and Zoe Genevieve (born
January 14, 1998). Zac studied through home schooling. Like his
brothers, Zac began as a pianist, but he later took up the drums, while
Taylor and Isaac picking up keyboard and second-hand guitar,
Zac was introduced to Kathryn “Kate” Tucker in August 2000
and started dating in 2001. After a four year of relationship, Zac
proposed his girlfriend in March 2005. The couple married on June 3,
2006 in a private ceremony held at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church
in Atlanta, Georgia. On May 27, 2008, Zac and his wife welcomed their
first child, son John Ira Shepherd Hanson. Their second child, daughter
Junia Rosa Ruth, was born on December 15, 2010.
Shout It Out
Along with his brothers Taylor and Isaac, Zac Hanson began performing
music professionally at the 1992 Mayfest Arts Festival in Tulsa when he
was seven. The trio originally named themselves the Hanson Brothers,
but later shortened their name to Hanson.
On May 17, 1995, Hanson released an independent album titled
“Boomerang,” with financial backup from their father. The
album contained covers of The Coasters' “Poison Ivy,” The
Jackson 5's “The Love You Save” and Baha Men's “Back
to the Island,” in addition original materials like “More
Than Anything,” “Don't Accuse” and
“Boomerang.” Their second indie release,
“MMMBop,” followed on March 17, 1996.
Hanson attracted the attention of manager Christopher Sabec after a
performance at the South By Southwest (aka SXSW) music festival in
Austin, Texas. After facing several rejections from record companies,
the boys eventually signed a recording deal with Mercury Records.
Launched on May 6, 1997, their first major label album “Middle of
Nowhere” was highly well received by critics. The album reached
No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the UK Albums chart and also
had strong chart position in other countries like Australia (#1),
Germany (#1), Switzerland (#2), Sweden, New Zealand (both #4) and the
Netherlands (#5). The debut single “MMMBop” (1997) was a
phenomenal success. It achieved No. 1 in 27 countries, including the
United States and the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Mexico.
The song was nominated for two Grammys in the categories of Record of
the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the
40th Annual Grammy Awards in February 1998, where Hanson also was
nominated for Best New Artist. Zac, who was 12 years old at the time,
became the second youngest person ever to receive a Grammy nomination
(second to Michael Jackson) and still holds the title of youngest
songwriter ever to do so. The second single “Where's the
Love” (1997) peaked at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart but failed
to chart at the Billboard Hot 100. The third single “I Will Come
to You” (1997) reached No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart and No.
9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The last two singles
“Weird” and “Thinking of You” (both 1998)
peaked at No. 19 and No. 23 on the UK Singles chart, respectively.
“Middle of Nowhere” eventually about 4 million units in the
US and over 10 million units worldwide.
Following the success of their debut album, Hanson soon released a
Christmas album titled “Snowed In” on November 18, 1997. It
became the best selling holiday album in the United State for 1997.
“Snowed In” debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard
200 and earned platinum certification from the RIAA in December 1997.
On May 12, 1998, Zac and his brothers re-released “MMMBop”
as “3 Car Garage,” minus four tracks. A first live album,
“Live from Albertane,” followed on November 3, 1998. The
albums respectively reached No. 6 and No. 32 on the Billboard 200.
On May 9, 2000, Hanson released “This Time Around,” the
band's first standard studio release since 1997, on Island Records. The
album peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and No. 33 in the UK Albums
chart. It was certified gold by the RIAA. After a three year struggle,
Zac and his brother mates eventually parted ways with Island in 2003 to
search more creative freedom. In October 2003, the boys established an
independent record label called “3CG Records,” where Zac
also serves as a co-CEO.
On April 20, 2004, Hanson released “Underneath” on 3CG
label. The album reached No. 25 on the Billboard 200 and No. 49 on the
UK Albums Chart. It produced a Top 10 UK hit single, “Penny &
Me.” The follow up album “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. The album charted at No. 56
in the US and No. 83 in the UK.
The band's new album, “Shout It Out,” was released on June
8, 2010 in the US and July 14, 2010 in Japan. The album debuted at No.
30 on the Billboard 200.