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Matthew Shafer (born June 6, 1974; Mount Clemens, Michiganmarker), better known by his stage name Uncle Kracker, is an Americanmarker rock, country, and rap rock musician, most popularly known for his hit singles "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 and Top 40 style music direction on later releases.


Shafer was 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 is also known to have gone 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, Devil Without a Cause, Shafer decided that it was time to release his first solo album, Double Wide, adopting the stage name Uncle Kracker.

On August 17, 2007 Matthew Shafer was arrested in Cary, North Carolina on a felony charge of second-degree forcible sex offense. Shafer plead guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault and was fined $1,500, given a year's probation, and ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.

Music career

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 #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 samples from Gray's version. Shafer's version of this song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it set a record for most weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining atop this chart for 22 weeks. Other singles released from No Stranger to Shame include "In A Little While", which peaked at #59 on the Hot 100 and #26 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A third single was released, "Memphis Soul Song", which charted on the Adult Top 40 at #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, Shafer 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. 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 #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 #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 #39 on the Billboard 100

Happy Hour

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. The first single from the album "Smile" was released on July 13, 2009 and is currently at #47 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 it #57 for the week of November 7, 2009. The album also features country singer Jesse Lee (also on Atlantic Records) in a duet they wrote called "Me Again."


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
2000 Double Wide 7 40 21 15 26 16 5 13
  • US: 2× Multi-Platinum
  • CAN: Platinum
2002 No Stranger to Shame
  • Released: August 27, 2002
  • Label: Lava Records
43 70
  • US: Gold
2004 Seventy Two and Sunny
  • Released: June 29, 2004
  • Label: Lava Records
2009 Happy Hour 38 13
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Adult US
2001 "Follow Me" 5 1 3 7 1 1 1 1 3 Double Wide
"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" 23
2002 "In a Little While" 59 4 28 26 18 39 37 No Stranger to Shame
2003 "Drift Away" 9 2 10 1 25
"Memphis Soul Song" 35
2004 "Rescue" 20 Seventy Two and Sunny
"Writing It Down"
2009 "Smile"A 47 5 22 51 58 Happy Hour
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

  • A Current single.

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Peak positions RIAA Album
US Country US
2004 "When the Sun Goes Down" Kenny Chesney 1 26 Gold When the Sun Goes Down

Other appearances

  1. Krack Rocks from Kid Rock's Bootleg Series
  2. Tin Can People from Kid Rock's Bootleg Series
  3. Krack Rocks from Kid Rock's Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp
  4. Freaks Come Out At Night w Busta Rhymes from the Scooby Doo Movie Soundtrack
  5. Break U Off from Osmosis Jones Soundtrack
  6. I'm Gonna Split This Room In Half from American Pie 2
  7. Trucker Anthem from Kid Rock's Cocky
  8. In My Neck Of The Wood's from Jocaine's Piggy Back Ride
  9. Keep It Comin Remix from Need For Speed Compilation
  10. To Think I Used To Live You Remix from Sweet Home Alabama Soundtrack
  11. The Weight from My Name Is Earl Soundtrack
  12. What U Lookin' At? from Mission Impossible 2 Soundtrack


  1. Uncle Kracker at NNDB, retrieved 2008-10-03
  2. Singles Chart Positions - Uncle Kracker Allmusic; retrieved 7-10-08

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