Darius Rucker Inspired by Oprah
"I was sweatin' like a pig, I was so nervous!" Darius Rucker tells Entertainment Weekly of his first appearance on 'The Oprah Show.'
The country singer finds a kindred spirit in the TV queen, whom he visited on a special country music episode of her show last month. Darius explains that, like Oprah, he never let race play a factor in his career ambitions.
"I'm a kid who grew up in an all African-American neighborhood and aspired to just be me, and didn't worry about labels or anything," he tells EW." I just wanted to be a success at what I did. Oprah's the ultimate success. And to watch her, as an African-American kid trying to make it in a world ... I mean, both times I've tried to make it, I tried to make it in a world I'm not really supposed to be trying to make it in."
Those worlds, of course, are rock and country music. Darius boasts album sales of more than 20 million with his pop-rock band, Hootie and the Blowfish. With his turn as a solo country singer, he has celebrated a No. 1 album, 'Learn to Live,' and back-to-back No. 1 songs, not to mention tremendous critical acclaim.
"For me, it's just music," Darius explains. "Ever since I was a kid, I was lost in AM radio and finding music. It was never about it being 'white boy music' or 'our music.' It was just about, 'I like that song.' All those things people talk about: Being the first guy to have a Top 20 single since Charley Pride 25 years ago. Being the only African-American who's had a No. 1. I never thought about that stuff until other people brought it up ... It's not something that I really even want to talk about. It's not something that I want Capitol [Records] to put in the press. It was just the reality of the situation."
Darius is currently on tour with Rascal Flatts. It's a bill pairing that he says has not only made him step up his game on the stage, but also on the golf course!
"Every time I see those guys, all they talk about is, 'Man, we're gonna play a lot of golf,'" Darius says of his new tour mates.