Uncle Kracker

Matthew Shafer (born June 6, 1974), also known by his stage name Uncle Kracker, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper and musician known for his country and rock music. He was a turntablist for Kid Rock's backing group Twisted Brown Trucker and since 1999 has recorded as a solo artist. His singles "Follow Me" and "Drift Away" were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Uncle Kracker
Uncle kracker
Uncle Kracker in December 2012
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Shafer
BornJune 6, 1974 (age 44)
Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1987–present
Associated acts

Personal life

Shafer was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan, on June 6, 1974.[1] 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 soon became friends with Kid Rock. In those times, he was mainly rapping. He went to L'Anse Creuse High School.[2] 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 in 2000.

In 2007, Shafer was arrested for a second-degree sex offence charge and released on $75,000 bond.[3][4] Shafer pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to a year of probation.[5][6]

Shafer was married to his childhood sweetheart, Melanie Haas. They divorced in 2014. They have three daughters together.

Music career

Double Wide

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 10 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.[7]

No Stranger to Shame

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 Hot 100 one week to the day after Gray's 63rd birthday, 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

After touring, Shafer began working on a third album which he called Seventy Two and Sunny. It was his first not to feature a parental advisory label as well as the first one to not feature any hip-hop songs, 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 did not 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

Uncle Kracker's fourth studio album is entitled Happy Hour.[8] The album was in the works for five years and was delayed due to 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."

Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions

A 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. The singles released were a remake of "Smile" and "Good to Be Me", featuring Kid Rock.

Midnight Special

On November 16, 2012, Uncle Kracker released his fifth studio album, Midnight Special, produced by Keith Stegall. Sugar Hill Records and Vanguard Records released the album under parent company Welk Music Group. The album was a full-fledged country record. The first single to come off of the album was "Nobody's Sad on a Saturday Night", followed by "Blue Skies". Shafer performed songs from the album while on the road with Kid Rock for his $20 Best Night Ever Tour during 2013.

On August 10, 2018, Kracker released his new single entitled "Floatin’", along with an accompanying music video.



  1. ^ Wilson, Mackenzie. "Uncle Kracker biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Uncle Kracker On Eminem/ICP Gun Incident". YAHOO!. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  3. ^ "Uncle Kracker Arrested On Sex Offense Charge".
  4. ^ "Uncle Kracker Arrested on Second-Degree Sex Offense Charge - Fox News".
  5. ^ "Singer Pleads Guilty; Gets Probation in Bar Incident". WRAL.com. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  6. ^ "Uncle Kracker not happy with guilty plea - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  7. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - November 21, 2010: Double Wide certified awards". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  8. ^ "Uncle Kracker "frustrated" by album delay". Yahoo! Music News. Retrieved 2009-05-11.

External links


"Bawitdaba" is a song by Kid Rock. Released in 1998 on his fourth studio album, Devil Without a Cause, "Bawitdaba" helped push the success of the album. It became one of his most popular and acclaimed songs.

Cold and Empty

"Cold and Empty" was the second single from Kid Rock's self-titled album Kid Rock. The song was a strait-laced piano ballad about losing a love to the road life. It peaked at #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts in 2004. The song was co-written by country singer Kenny Chesney.

Double Wide (album)

Double Wide is the debut album by Uncle Kracker. It was released on Lava Records. The CRIA certified it platinum in August 2001. Regarding the album's success, Kracker stated in 2001 "It gives you that kind of 'I told you so' feeling, because I always knew the record was good."

Drift Away

"Drift Away" is a song by Mentor Williams written in 1970 and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion. Mentor Williams was a country songwriter, and John Henry Kurtz was an actor and swamp rock singer. It was later given to soul-singer Dobie Gray, to which it became a surprise International hit; and the best known version. In 1973 the song became Dobie Gray's biggest hit, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and certified gold by the RIAA. It was the final pop hit for Decca Records in the United States.

A new version by Uncle Kracker, with Gray, became a major hit in 2003.

Follow Me (Uncle Kracker song)

"Follow Me" is the debut single by Uncle Kracker, released in 2001 from his debut album Double Wide (2000). The song became a major worldwide hit in late summer 2001, topping the charts of eight countries and reaching the top 40 in several others.

Forever (Kid Rock song)

"Forever" was the first single released from Kid Rock's 2001 album Cocky. The song was a message to critics who had panned his music. Kid Rock stated that, despite what they thought, his formula of hip hop, southern rock and punk rock would last forever. The song name checks Oprah Winfrey, Al Roker, Earl the Pearl and Betsy Ross and also references the song Hit the Road, Jack.

When the song is performed during concerts, the vocals are played over an instrumental version of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.

The song peaked at #18 on Mainstream Rock charts and #21 on the Modern Rock Charts. It reached #27 in Australia, #52 in Germany and #75 in Sweden.

Pamela Anderson appeared in the video. "I'm a Dog," Cocky's 10th track, was released along with "Forever" on the single.

The video was released in October 2001. The song was also featured in the 2004 film Torque.

Goin' Coastal Tour

The Goin' Coastal Tour was the eleventh headlining concert tour by American country music singer Kenny Chesney, in support of his thirteenth studio album Hemingway's Whiskey (2010). It was announced in November 2010, with nine stadium shows being announced first. An additional forty-one were announced two months later. Chesney co-headlined the stadium shows with Zac Brown Band. Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker served as opening acts. This was the Chesney's last tour before taking a two-year hiatus.

Good to Be Me

"Good to Be Me" is a song recorded by Uncle Kracker. It was released in 2010 as the second single from Kracker's album Happy Hour. The song was written by Matthew Shafer, Brett James, J. T. Harding and Robert J. Ritchie. The single version features Kracker's friend Kid Rock.

Happy Hour (Uncle Kracker album)

Happy Hour is the fourth studio album by American musician Uncle Kracker. It was released on September 15, 2009 under Atlantic Records. The album includes the single "Smile", which was originally released to pop, but later remixed to country music. Also released to the country format was the song "Good to Be Me" which was later recorded as a duet with Kid Rock. Rob Cavallo produced the album, except for "Good to Be Me", which was produced by Kid Rock, and "Hot Mess", which was produced by S*A*M and Sluggo.

In a Little While (Uncle Kracker song)

"In a Little While" is a single by Uncle Kracker from his second album No Stranger to Shame. It was released in 2002 and peaked at number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single also reached number 26 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The song was featured in The Real Cancun.

Midnight Special (Uncle Kracker album)

Midnight Special is the fifth studio album by Uncle Kracker and his first full-length country album. It was released November 20, 2012 under Sugar Hill Records.

No Stranger to Shame

No Stranger to Shame is the second studio album by Uncle Kracker. It is the follow-up album to his double-platinum debut Double Wide. It is currently Uncle Kracker's only album to have two charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100 ("In a Little While" and "Drift Away"). It is his last album to receive a parental advisory label and his last to feature rap rock songs.

Seventy Two and Sunny

Seventy Two and Sunny is Uncle Kracker's third studio album, released on Lava Records on June 29, 2004. It is Uncle Kracker’s first album not to receive a parental advisory sticker and to feature no rap songs. It is also his last to be released on Lava Records.

Shaun Silva

Shaun Silva is a music video director who works primarily in the country music field. He has directed a number of music videos for many country music artists, including many of Kenny Chesney's music videos. His other clients include: Terri Clark, Hunter Hayes, Jack Ingram, Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Mo Pitney, Luke Bryan, Brooks & Dunn, and Rascal Flatts. In addition, Silva has also directed a few videos for acts from outside music genres, such as Uncle Kracker and 3 Doors Down.

In 2008, Silva received four nominations in the Country Music Television (CMT) awards. In 2010, he won the award for Best Director.Shaun Silva and wife Shannon Brown (who is a country music singer in her own right) have two sons.

Smile (Uncle Kracker song)

"Smile" is a song by Uncle Kracker from his 2009 album Happy Hour. It was released as the album's first single on July 13, 2009. The track features country music singer Rae Rae, who sings backing vocals throughout the song and at the end of the title. Commercially, the song reached number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 44 in Canada, and number three in Australia. The song was featured in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.

The Almeria Club Recordings

The Almeria Club Recordings is an album by American country music singer and songwriter Hank Williams, Jr. This album was released on January 8, 2002 on the Curb Records label. He recorded most of the songs at "The Almeria Club", a club that his father, Hank Williams, recorded several songs himself. Kid Rock as well as Uncle Kracker appear on the song "The 'F' Word" giving background vocals

Uncle Kracker discography

This is the discography for American singer-songwriter and musician Uncle Kracker.

When the Sun Goes Down (Kenny Chesney song)

"When the Sun Goes Down" is a song written by Brett James and recorded by American country music artist Kenny Chesney as a duet with Uncle Kracker. It was released in February 2004 as the second single and title track from Chesney's 2004 album of the same name. The song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart on April 3, holding the number one position for five weeks. It also reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Uncle Kracker's first appearance on the country music charts, his next one being Smile.

The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Country.

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