Uncle Kracker may have gotten his start on the turntables mixing rap and rock, but on his phenomenally popular album Follow Me, and the music that's followed, audiences have heard a softer, gentler sound. His 2009 hit single, “Smile,” debuted at No. 57 on the charts and was quickly embraced by country music fans. To top it off, he’s collaborated on songs and played concerts with country star Kenny Chesney on numerous occasions. On his 2013 tour, he shared a loaded ticket with longtime musical collaborator Kid Rock and Southern rock legends ZZ Top. His music was the softest and sweetest of the bunch, a mix of rock and country, including tracks off his 2012 album, Midnight Special, featuring the singles "Nobody's Sad on a Saturday Night" and "Blue Skies."
Uncle Kracker, born Matthew Shafer, grew up in Michigan, where he became best friends with then-unknown rap-rocker Kid Rock, who introduced Kracker into the turntable scene. Kracker soon became a featured vocalist on Rock's early albums. When Rock achieved musical success, Kracker decided it was time for him to release his own album, too. His debut, Double Wide, mostly featured a Kid Rock-style rap-rock mix, but it was the softer single, "Follow Me," that hit it big, charting on the Adult Contemporary and Country charts. The album went double platinum and spent an incredible 10 months on the Billboard 200. His 2003 remake of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” set the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. From his 2009 album, Happy Hour, Kracker's Don Williams-influenced “Smile” went double platinum. His most recent album, 2012’s Midnight Special, is Uncle Kracker’s first full country album.