About Hootie and The Blowfish
Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that was formed in Columbia, South Carolina in 1986. The band's lineup for most of its existence has been the quartet of Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld. The band had been on hiatus from 2008 until they announced plans for a full reunion tour in 2019.
As of 2019, the band had charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts and recorded six studio albums. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View , is the 19th-best-selling album of all time in the United States, and was certified platinum 21 times. They have sold over 21 million copies of their albums in the United States. The group was also popular in Canada, having three number-one singles in the country.
Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan met in Columbia, South Carolina, in the mid-1980s when they were both freshmen at the University of South Carolina. Bryan, a guitar player, heard Rucker singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal ability. The pair began playing cover tunes as the Wolf Brothers.
Eventually they collaborated with bassist Dean Felber, a former high school bandmate of Bryan's, and Brantley Smith, a drummer, and soon adopted the name Hootie & the Blowfish in 1986. The name is a conjunction of the nicknames of two of their college friends. Smith left the group after finishing college to pursue music ministry, but he has made scattered guest appearances with the band . Smith was replaced by Jim "Soni" Sonefeld. The band's lineup has remained the same ever since.
The band independently released two cassette demo EPs in 1991 and 1992. In 1993, they pressed 50,000 copies of a self-released EP, Kootchypop. They were signed to Atlantic Records in August 1993, after being discovered by Atlantic A&R representative Tim Sommer, a former music journalist and member of the art rock band Hugo Largo. Sommer recalled that other record labels were uninterested in signing Hootie & The Blowfish because their sound was radically different from the grunge music that was popular at the time.
Their mainstream debut album was Cracked Rear View . Released in July 1994, the album's popularity grew after its release, becoming the best-selling album of 1995, and was one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time. The album, which was certified platinum in the United States in January 1995 and incrementally rose to 12x platinum by January 1996 and 16x platinum by March 1999. In May 2019, the certifications level was updated from 16x platinum to 21x platinum.
The album featured four hits, "Hold My Hand" , "Let Her Cry" , "Only Wanna Be with You" , and "Time" . The album's last single, "Drowning", was not as successful as its predecessors, peaking only on the Mainstream Rock chart. In 1995, Hootie & the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reached an out-of-court settlement for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in their song "Only Wanna Be with You".Miami Dolphins' Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino appeared in the band's video for the song "Only Wanna Be with You", along with several other athletes.
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