Country music has seen its share of supergroups, from The Highwaymen to the newly formed Highwomen, but Nashville team-ups aren't always all about superstars. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of darn talented pros who've spent years cutting it in the music industry to come together and create something great. Enter the band BlackHawk.
BlackHawk bandmembers Henry Paul, Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson were no southern rock newbies when they got together to form BlackHawk in 1993. At the time, Robbins and Stephenson were famous songwriters who had penned multiple hit singles for the country band Restless Heart. Meanwhile, Henry Paul was a member of the band The Outlaws as well as the frontman and vocalist for his own band, the Henry Paul Band. But when they got together? Whoa, did things get going.
Hitmakers from the start, BlackHawk charted all the up to number 11 on the Billboard country music charts with their first single, "Goodbye Says It All", after being signed to a country label Arista Nashville. BlackHawk's debut album, a self-titled effort, went certified two-times multiplatinum with the singles "Every Once in a While", "I Sure Can Smell the Rain", "Down in Flames," and "That's Just About Right" anchoring the debut.
By 1995 BlackHawk was cranking out more hits from their second album, Strong Enough. Hit singles "I'm Not Strong Enough to Say No" and "Like There Ain't No Yesterday" both landed in the top 3 on the Billboard country charts.
The next two albums from the group, 1997's Love & Gravity and 1998's The Sky's the Limit were also well-received but didn't produce the hits their previous efforts did, though "Hole in My Heart" and "Postmarked Birmingham" did chart.
In 2000, founding member Van Stephenson was forced to retire from the group due to complications from skin cancer. Unfortunately, Stephenson succumbed to the illness in 2001. Stephenson was replaced by Randy Threet, who was also once a member of the band The Outlaws. In 2002, the band released the album Spirit Dancer after leaving Arista for Columbia Records. Shortly after, Threet left the band and was replaced by Anthony Crawford.
So what's BlackHawk up to now? They're still touring to this day and releasing music all the while. Brothers Of The Southland, their seventh studio record, was released in 2015. They also run the Van Stephenson Memorial Cancer Research Fund in honor of their founding member who passed away too soon.
They may not be on the radio as much as they were in the heart of the '90s but worry not, BlackHawk is still kickin' and rockin'.
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