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Darius Rucker              

Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitarist of the Rock Band Hootie & the Blowfish

As the frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker was one of the most popular frontmen in mainstream pop/rock during the mid-'90s. The band's debut album, "Cracked Rear View," was virtually inescapable in 1995, eventually selling more than 16 million copies and becoming one of the most successful albums of all time. Hootie & the Blowfish couldn't re-create that magic on future albums, though, and the band took a break from the studio after releasing 1998's "Musical Chairs." Rucker used his free time to launch a solo career, which allowed the singer to explore his R&B and country influences.

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, Rucker was exposed to the sounds of Otis Redding, Al Green, and Gladys Knight at an early age. Those R&B icons helped influence Hootie & the Blowfish's recordings, all of which featured Rucker's soulful baritone at the forefront, but it wasn't until his solo career that Rucker truly paid homage to the sounds of his youth. He initially planned to launch his solo career with "The Return of Mongo Slade," which was scheduled for a summer 2001 release by Atlantic Records, but contractual changes prevented the album's release. A few months later, Rucker jumped ship for Hidden Beach Recordings, which then acquired the master recordings of his debut from Atlantic.

After making a cameo in the Farrelly brothers' film "Shallow Hal," Rucker introduced his mellow, R&B-influenced music with 2002's "Back to Then" (essentially "The Return of Mongo Slade" with a different title), which featured collaborations with Jill Scott and Snoop Dogg. Rucker then returned his focus to Hootie & the Blowfish, releasing two albums with the group during the early 2000s before revisiting his solo career. This time, he opted for a country approach, and the twangy "Learn to Live" found an appropriate home among country music fans, who sent both the album and its flagship single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," to the top of the Billboard country charts. Two more singles also peaked at number one, pushing the album to platinum status within a year of its release. Rucker smartly stayed in the country mold for his follow-up album, "Charleston, SC 1966," which appeared in fall 2010. His third solo album in a country vein, "True Believers," followed in early 2013.


Darius Rucker on 'Wagon Wheel' and the Future of Hootie | Music ...

About a year ago Darius Rucker was at his daughter's high school talent show when the faculty band took the stage and performed a cover of Old Crow Me.

Darius Rucker has street named for him - CBS News

The street leading to the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina was renamed Darius Rucker Boulevard on Monday.

CMT : News : Darius Rucker Hopes Bob Dylan Will Join Him at CMA ...

Darius Rucker has racked up many great accomplishments within the last year, including induction as a Grand Ole Opry member, a headlining tour, a No.

Darius Rucker Making 'True Believers' with Country Music | Music ...

There are so many people who would like to see me not make it in Nashville, Darius Rucker laments to Rolling Stone. But that's good motivation. The H.

Darius Rucker Benefit Raises $220k for St. Jude, With Help From ...

Darius Rucker told Billboard that he enjoys putting the show together and featuring his contemporaries, but admits there's a little something special about havingĀ ...

Singer Darius Rucker presents a vet with keys to a free house | Fox ...

Singer Darius Rucker has presented the keys to a free house to a veteran from his native South Carolina.

Darius Rucker 'Homegrown Honey': Behind the Lyrics : People.com

Rucker tells PEOPLE how his hit "Homegrown Honey," off his upcoming album Southern Style, was born on a golf course.

Darius Rucker Makes No. 1s While Doing No. 2 | TMZ.com

For Darius Rucker, there's something about hitting the crapper that brings the best out of him.

Charley Pride and Darius Rucker Talk About Race and Country ...

African-Americans and country music have a linked, tragic relationship. The Observer talks to two legends, Charley Pride and Darius Rucker, to see if...

Darius Rucker Announces Good Time Tour Dates - Rolling Stone

Darius Rucker will launch his Good for a Good Time Tour on June 3rd in Tampa.

TV Roundup: Darius Rucker Hosts 'Reel South,' NBC Orders 'Top ...

Country singer Darius Rucker signs on as host for the second season of "Reel South," NBC orders a puppet reality special, and more.

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