Chris Hawkey

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About Chris Hawkey

Chris Hawkey is a man who has enjoyed success in two careers; he's a well-known sports broadcaster in Minnesota, and he's developed a following as a country singer, first with the band Rocket Club and later as a solo artist. Hawkey was born in Union City, Indiana on December 25, 1970. He was 15 years old when he started his first band, in which he played classic rock covers alongside some school friends, as well as their shop teacher. Not immediately convinced he was cut out for rock stardom, Hawkey decided to pursue a career in radio, and in 1989 he moved to Dayton, Ohio to attend a broadcasting school. He landed a job at a radio station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and began dating one of his co-workers, Lauren MacLeash. Hawkey and MacLeash got married, and when she was hired as a programmer at a station in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he followed, attending the University of Minnesota and working as an engineer at a radio station. In 2001, Hawkey was tapped to host the morning Power Trip show for Minneapolis sports/talk station KFAN-FM, and the show made him a Twin Cities celebrity.

In his spare time, Hawkey was still following his interest in music, and in 2001 he released his first album, Minutes to Memories, with a second, The Pursuit, following in 2006. In 2008, Hawkey became the lead singer with Rocket Club, a country band with a rock edge. Playing what they called "north country," Rocket Club developed a solid following in the Midwest, releasing four albums and landing three songs on the country singles charts ("One More Day," "One Thing Beautiful," and "North Country"). But the band failed to land a major-label record deal, and in 2014 Hawkey left the group. He wasted no time launching a solo career as a country artist, releasing a self-titled album that same year, winning airplay for the song "My Kinda Crazy." Another country album, Country Underneath, followed in 2015, and Hawkey played as many live dates as his busy schedule would permit. An eight-song EP, Shine, dropped in November 2016, and included the single "Good Liar." In 2017, affected by the deaths of music stars Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, Hawkey began speaking publicly about his own struggles with depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Hawkey wrote a song about living with depression, "Happy," which was released as a single in September 2017. ~ Mark Deming

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