Darius Rucker: Grand Ole Opry Induction Made Him Feel Like Part of the Country Community
Darius Rucker had a successful run as the frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish long before he launched his career as a country music hitmaker. Although Rucker's first solo country album, Charleston, SC 1966, was successful, Rucker didn't feel as though he truly belonged until he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 2012.
"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," Rucker recalled to The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "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."
In addition to making country music, Rucker has also been dabbling in a few other projects, including hosting a show about golf on SiriusXM and taking a small role during an episode of Sun Records, another as a bomb-builder in Hawaii Five-0 and yet another as Jesus in CMT's Still the King; he also recently served as the voice of Thunderwing on the Nickelodeon program Blaze and the Monster Machines. For Rucker, the new opportunities became chances for him to spread his wings and try other creative endeavors.
"This year has been the year I just went for it," Rucker says. "My management’s been great about it. Things come up -- they’ve been coming up for a while -- but I’m a homebody -- I don’t really like to be away from home -- but that’s my job, so I don’t really take a lot of stuff. But I just went for it ... I knew I wasn’t nobody’s [Robert] DeNiro, but I was out there having fun."
Rucker has already accomplished more than most artists, but there is one thing he hopes to do in the near future: "The only thing I haven’t done that I want to do is to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl," concedes Rucker.
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