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Uncle Kracker

Matthew Shafer (born June 6, 1974) is an American rock musician known as Uncle Kracker. His singles include "Follow Me", "Smile", and "Drift Away". His music was more rap rock-based at the start of his career before turning in a more country rock influenced direction on later releases. Biography edit: Shafer was born in Mississippi but raised in Harrison Township, Michigan. In 1987, with his brother Mike Shafer, he visited a nightclub in Clawson, Michigan where a turntables 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 went 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, The History Of Rock, Shafer decided that it was time to release his first solo album, Double Wide. Shafer has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Melanie Haas, since 1998. They have three daughters. Music career edit: Double Wide edit: Double Wide was Uncle Kracker's first solo album. Released on June 30, 2000, it peaked at Number 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart and is Shafer's most successful and highest-selling album. "Double Wide" was produced by Kid Rock, with mixing additional production by Michael Bradford. The first single taken off the album was "Follow Me", which was co-written with Bradford, and peaked at Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 2001. The album spent the next ten months on the Billboard 200, and "Follow Me" also had a long chart run. His second single, "Yeah Yeah Yeah", failed to hit the Hot 100 chart. Double Wide was certified 2× Multi-Platinum on November 29, 2001. No Stranger to Shame edit: 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 No. 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 Gray as a guest vocalist. Kracker's version of this song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it set a record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining atop this chart for 28 nonconsecutive weeks. Other singles released from No Stranger to Shame include "In A Little While", which peaked at No. 59 on the Hot 100 and No. 26 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A third single was released, "Memphis Soul Song", which charted on the Adult Top 40 at No. 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, Kracker 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 edit: 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 No. 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", which peaked at No. 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 No. 39 on the Billboard 200. Happy Hour edit: Uncle Kracker's fourth studio album is entitled Happy Hour. 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. An early promo version of the album contained the tracks "Happy Hour", "Vegas Baby", "I'm Not Leaving", "The One That Got Away", and "That's What's Happenin". The first single from the album "Smile" was released on July 13, 2009 and has peaked at No. 31 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 No. 57 for the week of November 7, 2009, and peaked at No. 6 in September 2010. 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 (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. Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions edit: Uncle Kracker six song EP, Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions, was released on June 22, 2010. The EP features country remakes of songs off the Happy Hour album. Two songs released are a remake of "Smile" and Uncle Kracker next single, "Good to Be Me," featuring Kid Rock.

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