“We’re not a young band; we’re just a band that happens to be young.” Isaac Hanson
Tulsa, Oklahoma, native Isaac Hanson is famous as a member of the pop-rock trio Hanson, along with younger brothers Taylor and Zac Hanson. After releasing two independent albums, the band became a worldwide sensation thanks largely to the multi-platinum album Middle of Nowhere (1997; Mercury Records), which spawned the popular songs “MMMBop” and “Where’s the Love.” Since then, they have released several albums like Snowed In (1997) and This Time Around (2000), but failed to match the success of Middle of Nowhere.
In 2004, under their own independent label, 3GC, Hanson released Underneath, which became one of the most successful self-released albums of all time. Consisting of such hits as “Penny and Me” and “Lost Without Each Other,” the album topped the Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart. More recently, in 2007, they released their new album, The Walk.
As for his private life, Isaac has been married to Nicole Summer Dufresne since 2006. He once had a romantic relationship with singer Marit Larsen from M2M. They reportedly dated for about a year when M2M preformed as a supporting act for Hanson’s “This Time Around” tour.
Childhood and Family:
Clarke Isaac Hanson was born on November 17, 1980, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Clarke Walker Hanson (born on June 1, 1954) and Clarke Walker Hanson (born on April 30, 1954). The eldest of seven, he has three brothers: Jordan Taylor Hanson (born on March 14, 1983), Zachary Walker Hanson (born on October 22, 1985) and Joshua Mackenzie (Mac) Hanson (born on January 7, 1994), and three sisters: Jessica Grace (Jessie) Hanson (born on July 31, 1988), Avery Laurel Hanson (born on November 4, 1990) and Zoe Genevieve Hanson (born on January 14, 1998). He is the uncle of Jordan Ezra Hanson (born in 2002), Penelope Anne Hanson (born in 2005) and River Samuel Hanson (born in 2006).
Isaac married girlfriend Nicole Summer Dufresne (born November 25, 1983) on September 30, 2006, at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The ceremony was attended by 300 guests. His brother Taylor served as his best man. Isaac, known by family and close friends as Ike, met Nicole after noticing her in the fifth row at one of the group’s concerts.
Penny and Me
Isaac Hanson learned to play piano as a child. Along with his younger brothers Taylor and Zac, he formed a band originally called The Hanson Brothers. It later became Hanson, where Isaac also plays guitar in addition to serving as a vocalist. The kids made their first professional appearance in 1992 at the Mayfest Arts Festival in Tulsa.
In autumn 1994, Hanson worked on their first album, Boomerang, which was released independently in 1995. They followed it up with another independent album, MMMBop, the following year. Shortly after a performance at the South By Southwest Music Festival for Nameless Music Bands in Austin, Texas, the band got a manager, Christopher Sabec, who promoted them to a number of record companies. After several rejections, the band’s luck started to change when an A&R representative for Mercury Records, Steve Greenberg, spotted them at the Kansas State Fair. Impressed by their performance, he soon signed them with Mercury.
Middle of Nowhere, Hanson’s first major-label album, was released on May 6, 1997. The album debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. album charts and became a chart-topper in England. Its first single, “MMMBop,” reached No. 16 in its first week of release and went on to become a No. 1 hit in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. The second single, “Where’s the Love,” followed its predecessor and peaked at the top of the charts. A worldwide sensation, Middle of Nowhere was certified platinum four times. In the course of the album’s huge success, Isaac and his band were featured in many teen magazines, including Tiger Beat. As a result, Hanson became very popular among teen and pre-teen girls.
Snowed In followed in November 1997, which reached No. 7 on the album charts. The same month, the single “I Will Come to You” became a Top Ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The band released their compilation album, Car Garage (# 6), in May the next year. During the summer of 1998, Isaac hit the big time with their massively successful concert tour, The Albertane Tour. They performed in a series of shows in arenas and stadiums in the U.S. A live album, Live From Albertane, was released in the fall of 1998.
After leaving Mercury in 1999, the brothers signed with Island Records. This Time Around was released in May 2000 and went on to receive gold status. Because of the lack of sales, the label pulled financial support from their tour. As a result, they toured during the summer and fall of 2000 on their own money.
In 2003, Hanson decided to leave their label because of creative differences with the producers who thought that their material was missing quality and had rejected many songs from them. Since then, the band has worked under their own, independent label, 3CG Records. The label has distribution contracts through Alternative Distribution Alliance in the U.S., Sony BMG in Asia, and many other distributors all over the globe.
Underneath, the band’s first album on 3GC Records, was launched in 2004. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and sold over 37K in the first week of its release, making it one of the most triumphant selling self-released albums of all time. It spawned such hit singles as “Penny and Me” (#2 U.S., #9 U.K.) and “Lost Without Each Other” (#39 U.K.). They released a live album titled The Best of Hanson: Live & Electric, in 2005 and in the fall off 2005, toured the U.S. in support of the album. In November, MMMBop: The Collection, a compilation of popular tracks from the first two albums and the subsequent B-sides of tracks, was launched by their old record label.
Hanson’s newest album, The Walk, was released in 2007.