Back in the day, our family would often go on family vacations and explore the world’s greatest locations. One of our biggest destinations was the mountains in New York and we even got the chance to see Niagara Falls in Canada. Three years ago, I had decided to venture out on my own to explore the great city of music Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is a place full of lights, music, food, and great people. I was able to see some amazing places like ‘Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum’, the ‘Goober chocolate store, and even sample Tennessee’s hottest chicken known to man. Tennessee was the birthplace of some of my favorite performers and actors today such as Usher, and Samuel L. Jackson just to name a few. Nashville was also the go-to place for all the country music greats of yesterday such as Dolly Parten, Garth Brookes, and Shania Twain just to name a few. I would often dabble in all types of music genres and country music happened to be one of them; as I got older one thing that I often notice was that there were not a lot of African American singers in rock or country music. I later discovered some great performers like the late great, Chuck Berry, and the ‘Go-Go’ king Chuck Brown, but Darius Rucker really blew me away with his music and his character.
Darius Rucker was the lead singer of the 90s, multi-platinum group ‘Hootie & the Blowfish; they produced hits like ‘Only Wanna Be With You’ and Hold My Hand’ just to name a few. In 1986, the group was founded and named after two former USC classmates. The group played the college scene for several years before convincing a friend to join as a drummer; Darius had great songwriting skills and it ended up making a strong impact on the rest of the band members, who also inspired his bandmates to step up their talents. After college, Hootie started doing a full-time tour, and often performing for free beer but in 1991, the group released their debut album, the ‘Kootchypop’, and the rest was history.
Darius Rucker was born on May 13, 1966, in Charleston, South Carolina. Darius grew up with his mother, two aunts, maternal grandmother, and fourteen children that lived together in a three-bedroom apartment. There is not much known about his siblings and father, but his family was very much into music. Darius would often sing around the house to his mother’s Al Green and Betty Wright albums. Darius later became more involved with his church and high school choirs. But it wasn’t until he graduated from Middleton High School and entered the University of South Carolina that he set out for his music career.
Darius was once married to his girlfriend Beth Leonard, an American philanthropist, and former event manager at ‘VH1; together they raised three amazing children that are making a way for themselves. First, there is Carolyn, then Daniella Rose, and Jack. Carolyn is a college graduate that loves to sing and cover songs like her father. Daniella is the eldest sibling, and she currently attends NYU. Jack is the youngest and he plays music and loves to go golfing. Darius is also touring around the world with his solo projects; he had released four albums to the top ‘Billboard Country’ albums chart. His first two country albums had produced five number-one singles such as ‘Come Back Home and ‘It Won’t Be Like This For Long,’ just to name a few. In 2014, Darius won not one but three Grammy awards for ‘Best Solo Country Performance’ for his cover of ‘Wagon Wheel.’
Darius started out singing at his home and then he gravitated to the stage. He was able to bring along his tribe of musical talents and travel the world. He enjoyed singing and playing the music that he enjoyed no matter what the blogs said about him. At the end of the day, he is a great father, artist, and human being that loves what he does and his music makes an impact on his fans no matter where they come from.