Hanson was a melodic band that evoked memories of 1980s pop.
As young children, the Hansons lived in Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador and Venezuela due to their father's job. There, they grew up listening to a Time/Life compilation of music from the 1950s and 1960s, along with the Latin American music that surrounded them, influencing their musical tastes.
Hanson performed as a professional group for the first time in 1992, at the May Fest Arts Festival in Tulsa.
Two independent albums later, they found themselves at the South By Southwest musical festival for unsigned music bands. There, they were promptly signed by manager Chris Sabec, who took them to Mercury Records, where they became instant worldwide sensations with the release of their first album, Middle of Nowhere.
The album's title song, "MMMBop" debuted at number 16 in the United States, reaching #1 in both the US and the UK and staying over two months in the top spot in AUS. 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.
Since then, follow up albums have failed to match the success of Middle of Nowhere; they were caught up in the backlash against boy bands, and faced increased competition from market powerhouses like The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. They have a loyal online following, and continue to write and record new material.
Hanson released a new album, This Time Around, in May 2000. They toured until the summer of 2002. Jordan Taylor Hanson (who was 19 years old at the time) married Natalie Anne Bryant (who was 18 years old) later that summer on June 8th; followed closely by the birth of Ezra Hanson, on Halloween morning. The brothers left their record label, Island Def Jam, and now work under their own label, 3CG Records. The boys toured during the summer and fall of 2003 in support of an acoustic CD entitled Underneath Acoustic, which was comprised of acoustic versions of songs from their forthcoming release, Underneath. The tour culminated in a November 2003 performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.
The first single from Underneath was Penny & Me, whose video featured The O.C.'s Samaire Armstrong. Penny & Me reached number 2 on Billboard's Top 200 Singles Chart.
Underneath was released on April 20th 2004 and the following week debuted at number 1 on Billboard's Independent Album Chart and number 25 on Billboard's Top 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 had a top 25 self-released album.
Hanson will be touring the US throughout the summer of 2004 after which they hope to do a world tour.