Hootie & the Blowfish
Rising out of the ashes of Grunge and speaking directly to millions of people's feel-good inner child, this band was an unstoppable juggernaut by the time they released their major label debut, Cracked Rear View, in 1994. The record sold an unbelievable 13 million copies and catapulted what was essentially a bar band to the top of the heap. The band was hardly an overnight sensation, though, having cut their teeth with three self-released records and years of relentless touring the frat house and jam band circuit. Hootie's sound is a hodgepodge of R.E.M.'s pastoral new Southern Rock and a bunch of Classic Rock, filtered through lead singer Darius Rucker's burly vocals -- it couldn't have more mass appeal if it had been invented in a laboratory. Hootie & the Blowfish have consistently taken bands from their bar days on the road with them, which is really pretty cool -- whether you like their music or not.