UNION CITY — Chris Hawkey was born and raised In Union City. He started pursuing his dreams of building a career in the music industry at an early age, joining his first band at 15.
“I played every bar and festival within a hundred-mile radius,” Hawkey said.
After graduating from Mississinawa Valley High School, Hawkey attended the International College of Broadcasting in Dayton with the idea that a career in radio might be a good day job for a man continuing to look for his big break in the music industry. He worked at radio stations in Ohio, Indiana and Virginia, finally settling in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota.
As his career in radio flourished, Hawkey kept playing with various bands on evenings and weekends. He also released two solo rock records. He hit it big in radio in 2001 when he was hired to co-host and produce the Power Trip Morning Show in Minneapolis. During its 15-year run, the show became the top-rated morning radio program in the Twin Cities.
Then, one day, he got a phone call from an old friend. Hawkey was given the opportunity to join the band Rocket Club, collaborating on three songs with the group that would spend time on the Billboard National Country charts. Hawkey would eventually record four full albums with the group before releasing his first solo country album in 2014, which included his first hit single, “My Kinda Crazy.”
In addition to advancing his own career, Hawkey believes in giving back. His Twitter is filled with links to articles about missing children and adults. One of his more recent songs, “Happy,” champions the struggle of those who suffer from depression while a personal message on his website encourages those facing the disease to seek help.
“To anyone who is struggling with The Darkness,” Hawkey said, “please talk to people, keep searching until you find the right therapist, and, above all, always give it one more day.”
Just this past weekend, Hawkey performed at a free concert for first responders and Red Cross volunteers in the aftermath of a devastating refinery explosion in Superior, Wisconsin.
“We were honored to play that night,” Hawkey said. “It was a true celebration.”
Earlier in April, he traveled to the Middle Eastern country of Qatar where he played for American troops at a medical unit there.
“We sang some songs for some heroes there,” Hawkey said.
Hawkey can frequently be seen wearing a cap bearing the familiar emblem of Union City, an image of the states of Ohio and Indiana sitting side by side.
“That’s my hometown,” Hawkey said.
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