Darius Rucker was the lead singer of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish before he came into the country music scene. This was back in 1986 and he formed with the band at the University of South Carolina along with Mark Bryan, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, and Dean Felber. Twenty-six years later, his contribution to country music was recognized by the Opry as they finally made him an official member.
Darius Rucker at the Opry
Some of Darius Rucker‘s hit songs are “Wagon Wheel,” “Let Her Cry,” “If I Told You,” and many others. Though he first tried his luck on the R&B genre, the singer did not continue his career in that genre. His first try in country music was back in 2008 when he signed with Capitol Records Nashville. The 2008 debut of his country album was surprisingly successful. This still did not make the singer feel accepted by the country music since he knows that his transition was still met with doubts.
Being an African-American and a former rock and roll artist, he was a little bit unappreciated by country fans at first. This all changed when 4 years later, he was invited by the Grand Ole Opry. In an interview, he shared:
“I remember when I first moved to Nashville, I told my manager, ‘I want to play the Opry as much as I can.’ Because Hootie tried to play the Opry, and it never worked out. My first time there was amazing; I love playing at the Opry. So the fact that it’s five years — that moment when I got inducted into the Grand Ole Opry was the first moment that I felt like I was a part of country music: what country music is and what country music does. They need lawyers to kick me out now. That was a moment I felt like I was in.”
Darius Rucker has already accomplished a lot as a country artist. He won an award by the CMA and became a member at the prestigious stage of Grand Ole Opry. The only thing that he wishes to accomplish now is to sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl.
Relive his induction into the Opry here: