About the name: "Hootie" was the nickname of a guy named Ervin Harris, and "Blowfish" was what they called Donald Feaster. Both were friends of Darius Rucker and sang in the Carolina Alive choir with him.
Rucker and Bryan formed the band, originally called The Wolf Brothers, when they met at the University of South Carolina, where Rucker studied journalism.
Hootie & The Blowfish built a following in the early '90 playing lots of small venues in the South Carolina area. They made enough money at shows to finance an EP called Kootchypop, which they sold in 1993. A scout for Atlantic Records named Tim Sommer came to see them perform two shows later that year, and signed them on Halloween, 1993. Their first album, Cracked Rear View, was released on July 5, 1994 and went on to become the best selling album in the history of Atlantic Records.
Rucker, of course, was often identified as "Hootie," but he took it in stride, explaining that he was just happy to be recognized.
The band members are avid golfers and host an annual charity golf tournament called "Monday After the Masters," where pro golfers and celebrities and play a round the day after the prestigious Masters Tournament. The event started small, but when Tiger Woods played it in 1998, it became a really big deal.
The street leading to the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina where Hootie and the Blowfish played in the 1990s shortly after it opened was renamed Darius Rucker Boulevard on August 12, 2013.
In America, their album Cracked Rear View is the best-selling debut in history, but it didn't earn that certification until 2018. The RIAA had the album at 16 million in 1999, but gave it another 5 million in 2018, vaulting it ahead of the 18 million for Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction. It's hard to believe that 5 million Americans bought Cracked Rear View after 1999, but this clearly is not an exact science.