Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld from Hootie & The Blowfish will be at this year's Billboard Live Music Summit in Beverly Hills. Billboard will honor the success of the band's Group Therapy tour during the Live Music Awards on Nov. 5, honoring the band's return after more than a decade-long hiatus.
"There is so much buzz about having the band at this year's summit," says Dave Brooks, Billboard's senior director of live and touring. "I was lucky enough to see their show at the Hollywood Bowl in June and was so impressed by how incredible they sounded and the reaction from the audience, singling along to every song going back to Cracked Rear View. It was an amazing night and we are thrilled to honor them."
With hits like “Only Wanna Be With You,” and “Hold My Hand," Cracked Rear View went on to sell 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America. Hootie & The Blowfish went on hiatus in 2007 as Rucker pursued his solo career and recorded five albums for Capitol Nashville. In February, the band announced their return to the road with the 44-date Group Therapy tour and the release of their album Imperfect Circle slated for Nov. 1.
"Somebody said it the other day — we never do anything the way we're supposed to do it, ever," Rucker told Billboard's Gary Trust in an article published today (Sept. 5) "Most people wouldn't have thought about touring until their record was ready, but we just wanted to go play. And now that we did that, we're real excited for the people who saw us play to hear some new music. So that's Hootie doing it the Hootie way again."
Doing it the Hootie way seems to be working for the band — the 2019 tour already accounts for the band’s 11 best-grossing shows of its career, including four dates that crossed the $1 million threshold, according to Billboard Boxscore. Group Therapy also their highest attendance figures ever, with an average 13,508 tickets per show sold.
The 2019 Billboard Live Music Summit and Awards is the music industry's top touring conference and a must-attend event for anyone working in live entertainment. Set at the Montage in Beverly Hills, the conference features two days of high-level panels, artist interviews and executive Q&As with some of the biggest names in music, comedy and live entertainment. Additional speakers and panelists will be announced in the coming days. Learn more and register here.