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Hootie and The Blowfish

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Hootie & the Blowfish's mainstream pop variation of blues-rock brought the band to the top of the charts in 1995. Formed at the University of South Carolina, the group features lead vocalist/guitarist Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld; the name refers to two friends of the band, not Rucker and the group itself. Cracked Rear View, the group's first album, was released in the fall of 1994 and a single, "Hold My Hand," worked its way into the Top Ten by the beginning of 1995. Its success propelled the album to number one, as well as launching a second hit, "Let Her Cry," which was quickly followed by "Only Wanna Be With You." Cracked Rear View had become a massive success by the fall of 1995, going platinum several times over. By the time the group released their second album, Fairweather Johnson, in the spring of 1996, the debut had sold 13 million copies in the U.S. alone. Fairweather Johnson initially didn't replicate that success. It entered the charts at number one and sold two million copies within its first four months of release, but it didn't produce any hit singles on the level of the debut's "Hold My Hand" or "Let Her Cry." Musical Chairs followed in 1998. The album Scattered, Smothered, and Covered was issued two years later, featuring previously unreleased material, songs polled by the fans, and Hootie's own tributes to R.E.M. and the Smiths. Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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