Uncle Kracker Overview
Matthew Shafer (born June 6, 1974; Mount Clemens, Michigan), better known by his stage name Uncle Kracker, is an American United States rock rock music , country country music , and rap rock musician, most po***rly known for his hit singles "Follow Me Follow Me (Uncle Kracker song) ", "Smile Smile (Uncle Kracker song) ", and "Drift Away". His music was more rap rock-based at the start of his career before turning in a more country and Top 40 style music direction on later releases.
Shafer was raised in Harrison Township, Michigan. In 1987, with his brother Mike Shafer, he visited a nightclub in Clawson, Michigan where a turntables turntablist competition was occurring. His older brother was competing against a then-unknown musician, Kid Rock. Shafer then spent a lot of time with Kid Rock, and they became "best friends". In those times, he was mainly rapping. He is also known to have gone to L'Anse Creuse High School.. In 1994, Kid Rock asked Shafer to play turntables for his band called Twisted Brown Trucker. Shafer knew nothing of using turntables, but since his brother was an experienced DJ, he agreed. He only performed at live shows at the time, until he began recording for Rock's album, Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp; Shafer was a featured vocalist on some of the tracks. He then began working on a solo album, but he continued being the DJ for Kid Rock. Upon the release of Rock's multi-platinum album, Devil Without a Cause, Shafer decided that it was time to release his first solo album, Double Wide Double Wide (Uncle Kracker album) , adopting the stage name Uncle Kracker.
On August 17, 2007 Matthew Shafer was arrested in Cary, North Carolina on a felony charge of second-degree forcible *** offense. Shafer plead guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault and was fined $1,500, given a year's probation, and ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.
No Stranger to Shame
After a great deal of touring to promote the first album, he began to work on a follow-up album. Entitled No Stranger to Shame, it was released on August 27, 2002. The album reached #43 on the Billboard albums chart. A hit single was released, a cover version of Dobie Gray's 1973 Top 5 hit, "Drift Away" - also including samples from Gray's version. Shafer's version of this song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it set a record for most weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining atop this chart for 22 weeks. Other singles released from No Stranger to Shame include "In A Little While", which peaked at #59 on the Hot 100 and #26 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A third single was released, "Memphis Soul Song", which charted on the Adult Top 40 at #35. A special remix of "Memphis Soul Song" was also released, featuring harmonies by legendary singing group The Jordanaires, who had famously sung harmonies with Elvis Presley. The album was certified gold by the RIAA within a year of its release. Soon after this period, Shafer became good friends with country music star Kenny Chesney and the two began a successful touring partnership together, brought on by the success of Kenny's hit single When The Sun Goes Down, featuring Uncle Kracker both on the single, and prominently in the video.
Seventy Two and Sunny
After touring, Shafer began working on a third album which he called Seventy Two and Sunny. He had completely abandoned all rap from it, and moved onto a pure country sound. The album featured two singles: "Rescue", which only charted at #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart but didn't chart on any other charts, and "Writing It Down," which did not chart at all. Shafer did have some success that year though when he was featured on Chesney's track, "When the Sun Goes Down When the Sun Goes Down (Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker song) ", which peaked at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and went on to achieve Gold status. Seventy Two and Sunny has sold about 200,000 copies. It peaked at #39 on the Billboard 100
Uncle Kracker's fourth studio album is entitled Happy Hour Happy Hour (Uncle Kracker album) . The album has been in the works for five years and has since been delayed over because of Atlantic Records' decision to bring in Rob Cavallo to produce the album right as they were finishing their cut of the album in late 2007. The first single from the album "Smile Smile (Uncle Kracker song) " was released on July 13, 2009 and has peaked at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was released on September 15, 2009. "Smile" also became his first solo entry on the Hot Country Songs chart, where it debuted at #57 for the week of November 7, 2009. A music video for the track "My Girlfriend" was released in November 2009, though there has been no official word whether it will be serviced as the album's second single. The album also features country singer Jesse Lee Jesse Lee (singer) (also on Atlantic Records) in a duet they wrote called "Me Again." An advanced pre-order of the album off iTunes also let listeners get a special track no longer available called "Happy Hour" along with 3 other songs; Celebrate, Josephine, and Let Me Love You.
*A Current single.
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