He certainly has validation now, given that his first country single hit No. 1 on the charts, but Darius Rucker was initially a little concerned about fitting into the genre. The Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, who's now a country solo act , tells GAC that as soon as his debut country album was done, he put his new music through a little test.

"I played a Josh Turner song, then I played a Trace [Adkins] song, and then I played a Brad [Paisley] song ... and then I played one of my songs," he recants. "I played 'Don't Think.' And I was just so happy, riding in the car, playing it that way ... It didn't sound like it shouldn't have been there. It sounded like, yeah, it was right where it should've been."

Not only did Rucker's first country single, 'Don't Think I Don't Think About It,' hit No. 1, his full album, 'Learn to Live,' debuted at the top of the country albums charts. Rucker will test his music further on live audiences beginning in January, when he joins the Paisley Party Tour.