Darius Rucker is an American musician who came into the limelight first as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish. The band was founded in by Rucker at the University of South Carolina in 1986 and other members included Mark Bryan, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld and Dean Felber. There were 5 album releases and six top 40 hits by the band with him as a member. Rucker was a driving force for the band in terms of lyrics by writing most of their songs in collaboration with other members of the band.
Rucker released “Back to Then,” an R&B solo album with Hidden Beach Recordings in 2002 but the album fell short of expectations and didn’t do very well on the charts. In 2008, Rucker signed up with Capitol Records Nashville for a country music album “Learn to Live.” The album was released the same year and the first single of the album “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” became the top single on the Hot Country Songs charts. He followed up with 2 more number one singles and became the first African American to reach number one since Charley Pride in 1983.
Rucker is also the first American artist of African origin to win the New Artist Award from Country Music Association in its history accomplishing the feat in 2009. He is also only the second African American artist that won any award from the CMA. Rucker made it to number one on the charts again in October 2010 with the single “Come Back Song” followed by another number one “This” from a second album with Capitol Records.
Darius Rucker was born in Charleston, South Carolina on May 13, 1966. He was raised by a single mother with five siblings. His father was a member of a gospel band and according to Rucker he didn’t see much of his father except on Sundays at church. His family’s economic condition was not good and in his own words he had a “typical Southern, African-American upbringing.”
Music Career (Hootie & the Blowfish)
Darius Rucker has been a founder member and its lead singer from its inception in mid eighties. Rucker and Bryan started out as a duo and were joined later by Sonefeld and Felber respectively. The founding members met each other while studying at the University of South Carolina. Since its formation the band has released 5 albums. Rucker has attracted a considerable interest as the only African-American front man of a mainstream rock band, a position that has been held traditionally by white members.
Rucker recorded his first solo R&B album in 2001 with Hidden Beach Recordings, an independent label. The album’s performance on the charts could hardly be described as satisfactory.
2. Country music
Rucker released his first solo single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” in early 2008. The single debuted at number 51 in May 2008 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and became number one single in September 2008.
On October 12, 2010 Rucker released his second country album called Charleston, SC 1966. The first single from the album “Come Back Song,” reached number one on the country music charts along with the second single “This.”