Country / Rock
Every now and then comes along a singer who can continuously reinvent themselves, break barriers, and create music that resonates. Darius Rucker is that versatile artist. He set records as a rocker with Hootie & the Blowfish, transitioned into the jazz-R&B world, and, most recently, has become a country music superstar.
Darius Rucker got his start as the frontman for Hootie & the Blowfish, which formed as students at the University of South Carolina. Their debut album, "Cracked Rearview Mirror", is currently ranked as the 15th best selling album of all time in the United States and the best selling debut for any act. With the band, who are also his lifelong friends, they released seven studio albums and are currently on a permanent hiatus while pursuing other interests. The band became a household name and they toured and continue to perform for benefits and at other scheduled events.
In 2001, Rucker signed with independent Jazz-R&B label Hidden Beach Recordings to produce an R&B album. The album "Back to Then" was released in 2002 and featured famed neo-soul artist Jill Scott on production. While the album was a modest success for the label, it didn't match the acclaim that Rucker had experienced with Hootie & The Blowfish and he didn't release any more records with the label.
While his R&B career may have floundered, Rucker made a surprising turn as a country artist in 2008 when he signed to Capitol Records. He co-wrote and produced his first single "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", and released it in 2008. It was an instant hit and reached #1 on the Billboard Country charts. He released his debut country album, "Learn to Live", in 2008 with production help from Frank Rogers who has worked with such artists as Brad Paisley. Rucker's accomplishment made him the first African-American country artist to have a top 20 hit since Charley Pride in 1988. Rucker's album was certified platinum by the RIAA and also produced the #1 singles "Alright" and "It Won't Be Like This For Long", which distinguished him as the first country artist to have his first three singles reach #1 since Wynonna in 1992. Rucker's success was solidified when he received the Country Music Association award for New Artist of the Year in 2009!
Rucker returned to the studio to record his highly anticipated sophomore follow-up. The album, "Charleston, SC 1966", was released in October, 2010, and featured the #1 single "Come Back Song". The second single "This", written by Rucker and Kara DioGuardi also reached #1 on the charts. Rucker experienced similar success with his third album, True Believers; the album shot to the top of the country charts, and even debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200. The album became so successful that Rucker was invited to join the Grand Ole' Opry in 2012, and his cover of "Wagon Wheel" featured on the album won him a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance. To date, Rucker is only the third African American to win a vocal award in the country music category.
After releasing the successful Southern Style, and the Christmas album Home for the Holidays, Rucker began to focus less on his music career and more in his partnership in MGC Sports. The sports agency represents a number of athletes across different sports, and makes use of Rucker's passion for sports as well as his numerous connections with famous athletes like Tiger Woods.