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USA Today Article
"Fans pouring over Hanson news"


Ike's is dark blue. Zac's is bright green. Tay prefers aquamarine.

Even Hanson has to brush every day.

No factoid is too trivial for Hanson's mass of hungry young fans, to whom even toothbrush color is heart-fluttering fodder. Aficionados are using the Internet to trade minutiae about the brotherly trio and are gobbling up any information they can gather about the band.

"There's some fascination people have about wanting to know them on a personal level and know more than anyone else knows," says Landon Morgan, 16, who, with buddy Luke McSpadden, manages My Little Tribute to Hanson, a Web site (http://users.aol.com/nadaace/hanson.html) declared among the top 5 Hanson sites by react, a webzine and weekly magazine of teen news.

Catapulted to success early this year with its No. 1 hit MMMBop, the popular band consists of three Hanson siblings: guitarist Isaac, 17, keyboardist Taylor, 14, and drummer Zachary, 12.

About 150,000 fans from the USA and Canada have joined the official fan club mailing list since March, when the trio's album, Middle of Nowhere, was released, band manager Christopher Sabec says.

Hanson's appeal with the school-age crowd continues to grow as the group embarks on appearances for its second single, I Will Come to You, and its holiday album, Snowed In.

A late-November mall tour brought out as many as 30,000 fans at a single stop. Many waited up to 10 hours for a glimpse of the trio. High absenteeism at Kansas City, Kan., schools was attributed to a Hanson concert that day. Fainting spells were treated in Leawood, Mich.; cuts, bruises and hyperventilation greeted emergency crews in Grapevine, Texas.

But just as paramount for fans as seeing their teen idols play their music is learning about the boys' daily routine and likes and dislikes.

McSpadden and Morgan's site just added pictures of the Hansons' back yard and front porch to satisfy browsers' curiosity. "We meet lots of people, mostly girls between the ages of 14 and 17," Morgan says. "Moms contact us, too, saying, 'My daughter's in love with Hanson. Can you send me anything?' They're craving information."

One Web site titled Hanson Addicts Anonymous (www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Stage/7698/index.html) has had more than 103,000 hits (the number of individual items on a Web site viewed by visitors) since it started up in July.

Another site, reporting more than 7.5 million hits so far, chronicles Hanson oddities, such as how the right-handed Isaac sleeps in boxers and the left-handed Taylor shampoos his hair with Herbal Essence and prefers creamy peanut butter. The band's youngest member, Zachary (the only one who doesn't wear orthodontia), plays with Legos and sleeps in boxers and T-shirt.

On a recent chat with Hanson on America Online, the brothers warned fans that some of the information in the bevy of current unauthorized biographies is incorrect, and the boys steered fans to Hanson: The Official Book.

"Sorry to tell you," they told fans in the chat room, "you WON'T be able to find out what color underwear we wear!"

(Hot update: Morgan received a new photo on Thanksgiving from a Hanson photo shoot that he plans to put on his site. "Zac had his pants unzipped. He wears blue boxers!")

A 30-question trivia quiz is multiplying on many Hanson fan sites, and links to the quiz are now on just about every site. Interspersed with official information, such as where the band hails from (Oklahama) and the names of the other three Hanson children (Jessica, Avery, Macenzie), are queries such as Zac's favorite school subject (math), Taylor's favorite color (red) and worst habit (tapping on everything) and the Hanson home ZIP code in Tulsa (74170).

"Everyone wanted to know their shoe sizes," Morgan says. One recent rumor that "spread like wildfire," he says, gave Isaac a size 15 foot, Tay a size 12 and Zac an 11. "For a 12-year-old to have a size 11 shoe is outrageous!" (For the record, it's 81/2.)

In Atlanta recently, Sabec says, everyone wanted to know about Hanson's bed-time routine. " 'Do they have a snack? What do they drink before bed?' "

The most often-heard question, though, is whether fame has gone to their heads, he says. The answer: "Absolutely, infinitely no!" says Sabec. "They're the same guys they were back when this was just a dream for them."

There is one other regularly asked question that always makes the trio smile: Where they met. "Every time we get that, we laugh," says the brothers' manager. "It makes me chuckle just thinking about it."

By Karen Thomas, USA TODAY