Hanson - Biography

Hanson

Hanson is a pop rock band that formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1990s by brothers Clarke Isaac Hanson (born November 17, 1980), Jordan Taylor Hanson (born March 14, 1983) and Zachary Walker Hanson (born October 22, 1985). They are best known for their hit song "MMMBop".

History

Early years

The boys were the first three children of parents Clarke Walker ("Walker") (June 1, 1954) and Diana Frances Hanson (nee. Lawyer) (April 30, 1954). The Hanson family also includes sisters and brother, Jessica Grace ("Jessie") (July 31, 1988), Avery Laurel (November 4, 1990), Joshua Mackenzie ("Mac") (January 7, 1994), and ZoŽ Genevieve (January 14, 1998).

The band, which was originally called "The Hanson Brothers," started out as three kids who sang a capella and recorded tapes with oldies like "Rockin' Robin," "Splish Splash," and "Johnny B. Goode," as well pieces of their very own material. Their first performance as a professional group took place in 1992 at the Mayfest arts festival in Tulsa.

Devoted fans of Hanson are also aware of their early video appearance on Carman's "Yo Kidz The Vidz," which includes Taylor cast as a young biblical David facing Goliath, Isaac cast as an event announcer, and other members of the family, including Zac, in the stands cheering on this "sporting event."

Later on, Isaac picked up a secondhand guitar, Zac borrowed an old set of drums, and Taylor became the keyboard player of what turned into a garage band. The band recorded two independent albums in their hometown of Tulsa, 'Boomerang' (1994) and 'MMMBop' (1996). The latter featured the original version of what would later become the runaway single on their debut commercial record Middle of Nowhere. The boys then found themselves at the South By Southwest music festival for unsigned music bands. There, they were promptly signed by manager Christopher Sabec. He shopped them to several record companies, most of which dismissed the band as either a novelty or fraud before Steve Greenberg, an A&R representative for Mercury Records, heard them play a set at the Kansas State Fair. This break resulted in the band being signed almost immediately by Mercury. They soon became worldwide sensations with the release of their first major-label album, Middle of Nowhere.

Commercial success

Middle of Nowhere was released in 1997. The album's first single, "MMMBop", debuted at #16 in the United States, reaching #1 in both the U.S. and the UK, reaching #2 in Canada, and staying over two months in the top spot in Australia. The group was heavily featured in teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and found a wide following among teen and pre-teen girls. The album's second single, "Where's the Love," followed "MMMBop" to the top of the charts. Their first album's worldwide success was registered in Tulsa, Tokyo and The Middle of Nowhere, an 82-minute videotape with home videos, interviews, video clips, and live performances.

During the summer of 1998, Hanson began a highly successful concert tour, The Albertane Tour. They performed a string of shows throughout stadiums and arenas in the U.S., targeting young audiences with its playful and energetic theme. A live album, titled Live From Albertane, was released the following fall.

Since then, follow up albums have failed to match the success of Middle of Nowhere and Hanson has struggled against the label of 'one hit wonder.' Hanson released their second album, This Time Around, in May 2000 but due to lack of sales the label pulled funding on their tour. They toured through the summer and fall of 2000 on their own funds.

Independent career

The brothers left their record label, Island Records, due to conflict with the producers who felt their material was lacking quality and had refused over 80 songs from the band. The band now works under their own independent label, 3CG Records ("3 Car Garage Records"), named for the three-car garage in which their studio lies today. The label has distribution deals through ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance) in the United States, Sony BMG in Asia, and various other distributors throughout the world.

The band toured during the summer and fall of 2003 in support of Underneath Acoustic, which was composed of acoustic versions of songs from their then-forthcoming release, Underneath. The tour culminated on November 5, 2003 with a performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

Underneath was released on April 20, 2004, and the following week debuted at #1 on Billboardís Independent Album Chart and #25 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making Underneath one of the most successful independent albums of all time (only a few artists, such as Prince and Ani DiFranco, have released a top 25 independent album).

The first single from Underneath was "Penny & Me;" its music video featured The O.C.ís Samaire Armstrong and was directed by Chris Applebaum ("Stacey's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne). "Penny & Me" reached #2 on Billboardís Top 200 Singles Chart. The video for the album's second single, "Lost Without Each Other," was directed by P.R. Brown and filmed in Boston, and includes live footage from the concert played in the city that coincided with the filming.

In fall 2005, Hanson toured the US and played at certain Canadian venues to support their recently released live album, The Best of Hanson: Live & Electric. They also visited various colleges in order to showcase Strong Enough to Break, their documentary chronicling their struggles with Island Def Jam during the making of Underneath, as well as their subsequent departure from the label. During the college visits, the band also held question-and-answer sessions about the problems that independent artists face in music industry today.

In November 2005, Hanson's old record label released "Mmmbop: The Collection", a compilation of famous tracks from the first two albums and the consequent B-sides of singles. However the CD never charted as the band's strong fan base refused to buy the CD as, not only was there nothing previously-unreleased on it, but it was also an obvious attempt by the record company to cash in on Hanson's early success. All the tracks on the compilation had already been made available in the form of the albums and singles, the artwork was outdated and it suffered from poor distribution.

During the spring of 2005, Hanson toured many countries in South America and Europe, and performed their first ever electric shows in Australia during their highly successful Live and Electric tour. Hanson plans to release Strong Enough to Break on DVD in late 2006 and are currently working on their fourth studio album set for release early 2007. This album, recently revealed to be titled "The Walk", has been said by the band to be very different from "Underneath". Zac recently posted on their official website, saying that the band recorded a school choir in Soweto, South Africa. This indicates that the new record will indeed be different, but in a very interesting way.

Personal life

On June 8, 2002, middle brother Taylor Hanson married long-time girlfriend, Natalie Anne Bryant (born December 28, 1983). The ceremony was held at the Ida Cason Memorial Chapel of Callaway Gardens, located in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The couple have had two children, Jordan Ezra Hanson (born October 31, 2002) and Penelope Anne Hanson (born April 19, 2005). The couple expects their third child very soon.

Youngest brother Zac married his girlfriend of 5 years, Kate Tucker, on June 3, 2006 at a private ceremony held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Eldest brother Isaac has confirmed his engagement to girlfriend Nikki Dufresne.

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