Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American musician. He first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award-winning rockband Hootie & the Blowfish, which he founded in 1986 at the University of South Carolina along with Mark Bryan, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld and Dean Felber. The band has released five studio albums with him as a member, and charted six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Rucker co-wrote the majority of the band’s songs with the other three members.
He released a solo R&B album, Back to Then, in 2002 on Hidden Beach Recordings but did not chart any singles from it. Six years later, Rucker signed to Capitol RecordsNashville as a country music artist, releasing the album Learn to Live that year. Its first single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, made him the first black artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride in 1983. (Ray Charles hit No. 1 in March 1985 in a duet with Willie Nelson with Seven Spanish Angels). It was followed by two more No. 1 singles, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” and “Alright” and the number three “History in the Making.” In 2009, he became the first black person to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association, and only the second black person to win any award from the association. A second Capitol album,Charleston, SC 1966, was released on October 12, 2010. The album includes the No. 1 singles, “Come Back Song” and “This”.
Rucker is an ardent South Carolina Gamecocks fan as well as a Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Reds fan. He also likes the film Stir Crazy, which he has seen more than 100 times.
Rucker’s mother died in November 1992 of a heart attack. His grief inspired two Hootie & the Blowfish songs: “I’m Goin’ Home” and “Not Even the Trees.” On April 21, 1995, his girlfriend gave birth to Rucker’s first child, Carolyn Pearl Phillips. His second daughter, Daniella Rose, was born to his wife, Beth, on May 16, 2001. They had a son, Jack, in 2005. The Hootie song “Where Were You” is about Rucker’s strained relationship with his father, and was released only in Europe, where Rucker thought that his father would be unlikely to hear it. His country single “Alright” was inspired by his marriage.
Rucker is a friend of the golfer Tiger Woods, whom he met in a bar when Woods was 18. Rucker sang at the golfer’s wedding with Hootie & the Blowfish and at his father’s funeral. In North Charleston, South Carolina there is a street called Darius Rucker Boulevard that is named after him.
A young man with a talent for music has begun a career with much promise. He meets an aspiring singer, Apollonia, and finds that talent alone isn’t all that he needs. A complicated tale of his repeating his father’s self destructive behavior, losing Apollonia to another singer (Morris Day), and his coming to grips with his own connection to other people ensues.
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