I will admit it: I have "MMMBop" on my iPod. Now, it's not like I absolutely worship Hanson – I don't have their poster on my bedroom wall or, at least, I don't anymore – it's just that I kind of like their music. Love 'em, hate 'em, or make voodoo dolls of 'em in your spare time, it's hard to deny that this trio can carry a tune. But, since the craze of "MMMBop" has ended, where exactly have they been carrying on?
Made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac, this band skyrocketed to fame in 1997. With the youngest member just twelve at the time, this group seemed as innately talented as the Jackson Five or the members of the Partridge Family. Beginning in the modest roots of their home state of Oklahoma, it was only a matter of time before Hanson was a household name and "MMMBop" was stuck in the heads of music lovers everywhere, even when we tried to get it out.
However, after their album Middle of Nowhere was released in 1997 – an album that included both "MMMBop" and the hit song "Weird" – Hanson seemed to all but disappear from the airwaves and from the earth. It was indeed weird. They went from childhood prodigies to seemingly one or two hit wonders in a mere matter of months.
Despite their apparent nonexistence, Hanson did not go the route of many bands: they didn't break up, call it quits, or fake their own deaths. Instead, this band of brothers is very much still around.
In 2001, Hanson fell out with the label they'd been using for quite some time, Island Def Jam Records. This fall out transpired after the label refused nearly eight dozen songs from the group, claiming the songs failed to captivate the targeted audience. Hanson, instead of sticking with a label that appeared futile, decided to start an independent one of their own, 3CG records.
Hanson also signed with 10 Street Entertainment, a management company rumored to be able to cook things up for other renowned singers, such as Meat Loaf. The boys, in 2004, released a new album called Underneath. It was an album that put them on the map of independent records, climbing to the top of Billboards Independent Album Charts. Despite this, Hanson claims to have lost more money than they made in the first endeavor on their own record label.
Following this release, Isaac, Taylor, and Zac began touring colleges and promoting a documentary they made showcasing the struggles of the music industry, particularly the fall out they had with their former record label. Taking a step into giving back, Hanson also recorded "Great Divide" in 2006 with a choir from South Africa. Releasing it to iTunes as a single, all proceeds from the song went to fighting the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Most recently, Hanson is still marching on; they are set to release their newest album, The Walk, in late spring 2007. This album is said to be much different from Underneath, full of harder and more unique lyrics.
On a personal level, the little boys from Hanson are all grown up. Each brother is married with Taylor the father of three children and Isaac soon to be the father of one.