I’m sure that most people visitng this site are familiar with who Hanson are, but just in case, here’s a quick rundown of the band’s history and members.
Hanson is a band of three brothers — Isaac, Taylor and Zac — from Tulsa, Oklahoma. They began singing while the family lived in South America for their father’s work and the only music they had to listen to was a tape of 1950’s songs. They realized the three of them harmonized well together, and began performing a capella concerts as The Hanson Brothers in 1992.
Over the next four years, they began writing songs and learning how to play instruments and made a number of indie recordings, most notably two albums called Boomerang and Mmmbop. In 1996, they were discovered while busking at South by Southwest and, after a number of rejections by other labels, signed with Mercury and recorded their debut major label album, Middle of Nowhere. That album and the song Mmmbop launched them to superstardom when they were only 17, 14 and 11 years old.
The followup album, This Time Around, was far less commercially successful. This can be attributed mostly to mismanagement by their new label, Island Def Jam (which absorbed Mercury in 1999, prior to the album’s release). After finishing the tour for TTA on their own funds, the band went back into the studio to record a followup. They struggled with the label for three years before finally forming their own label, 3CG, in 2003.
The first full length album released on 3CG, Underneath, was the highest charting independently released album to date. The band had filmed the recording process, and they turned this into a documentary called Strong Enough To Break, which they toured around college campuses before releasing it to the public in 2009.
The band briefly relocated to New York to launch their label in 2003, but returned to Tulsa prior to Zac and Isaac’s weddings.
Hanson’s fourth studio album, The Walk, was released in 2007. Its recording process was greatly influenced by a trip to Africa that the band took in 2006. After releasing the first single from The Walk as a charity single, they also began a charity, Taking the Walk, which works with Toms Shoes and other charities to provide aid to third world countries, primarily in Africa.
In 2009, while also recording the band’s fifth studio album, Taylor recorded and toured as part of the “supergroup,” Tinted Windows, along with Bun E. Carlos, Adam Schlesinger and James Iha. Hanson’s fifth studio album, Shout It Out, was released in 2010 to significantly more commercial success than The Walk, but not quite as much as Underneath.
Their sixth studio album, Anthem, was released on June 18, 2013.
Clarke Isaac (Isaac or Ike) is the oldest member of the band, born on November 17, 1980. His primary role in the band is lead guitar player and vocalist, but also plays bass guitar and piano. He has a tendency to ramble and is well known for his impressions, particularly his Kermit the Frog impression. He also enjoys whiskey, cigars and basketball.
Isaac was well known for being the “romantic” of the band, naming all of his guitars after his girlfriends. One ex-girlfriend of his in particular is infamous for being the inspiration for the song Hand in Hand. He also dated singer Marit Larsen in 2000 and 2001.
In 2003, Isaac was hospitalized due to a blood clot, and in 2007 he suffered a pulmonary embolism that required surgery.
On September 30, 2006, Isaac married Nikki Dufresne. The two met at a concert in 2003 when Isaac spotted her in the audience and threw her a guitar pick. Their engagement and wedding were moved up when Nikki got pregnant. They have three children, Clarke Everett (Everett, born in 2007), James Monroe (Monroe, 2008) and Nina Odette (2014).
Jordan Taylor (Taylor or Tay) is the middle member of the band and the second oldest Hanson child, born on March 14, 1983. He’s typically considered the frontman of the band, although they all insist that the band has no “leader.” Taylor sings lead vocals on most songs and plays piano. He also plays organ, drums, guitar and various other percussion instruments. Although he talks a lot, Taylor was often called the “shy” or “quiet” one in early years, and has a tendency to speak very quietly. Taylor has recently taken up an interest in photography, occasionally writes blogs for various websites (including Huffington Post and Paper Mag) and is also interested in architecture.
Taylor had a number of rumored relationships with other celebrities, including Michelle Branch and Alex Greenwald. Certain very unflattering rumors about his sex life persist to this day.
On June 8, 2002, Taylor married Natalie Bryant, who was four months pregnant with their first child, Jordan Ezra (Ezra). Taylor had met Natalie after a concert in 2000, and the two dated on and off after that. They now have five children — Ezra (2002), Penelope Anne (Penny, 2005), River Samuel (2006), Viggo Moriah (2008) and Wilhelmina Jane (Willa, 2012).
Zachary Walker (Zac) is the youngest member of the band and the third oldest Hanson child, born on October 22, 1985. His primary role in the band is drums and vocals, and in recent years, he has taken over a lot of the lead vocals on their albums. He also plays piano, guitar, bass guitar and various other percussion instruments. In the early years, Zac was considered the “crazy” and hyper member of the band, before going through a brooding teenager phase. He’s still quite talkative and sarcastic now. Zac is the geekiest member of the band, well known for his love of video games, comic books, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
Zac briefly dated Marion Raven in 2000 when the band M2M toured with Hanson. There are few other rumored relationships of his to speak of.
On June 3, 2006, Zac married Kate Tucker, best friend of Taylor’s wife Natalie. He and Kate met in 2000 at the same concert where Taylor met Natalie. They have three children, John Ira Shepherd (Shepherd, born in 2008), Junia Rosa Ruth (2010) and George Abraham Walker (Abe, 2013).
For more information on Hanson, check out the following links:
Hanson.net The official website.
Hansonish.com Lots of fun info about the band, focusing mostly on the music, but also including a nice, complete family tree.
HansOnStage.com Articles and interviews, as well as the most complete listing of tour dates and setlists.
Hanson Vault New website with articles, news and the largest gallery of Hanson photos on the internet.
Hitz Pics Mostly up to date site with a huge gallery of pics.
MMMBoptastic.com An up to date site focusing purely on news.
Thinking ‘Bout Hanson Argentina Very, very up to date Argentinian fan site that compiles lots of news and rumors from social media.
Wikipedia article on Hanson