Darius Rucker Hits No. 1


Darius Rucker photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Sept. 23, 2008 — Darius Rucker’s made quite a ruckus in country music, hitting the No. 1 position on several different charts with his debut in the genre, "Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It."

It comes at a time when Barack Obama is making a historic run for the presidency — the first time an African-American has been at the top of the ticket. Darius’ trip to the top in country doesn’t set any precedents, but it’s the first time in over two decades an African-American has had a No. 1 hit in the format. Ray Charles joined Willie Nelson at No. 1 in 1985 with "Seven Spanish Angels," while Charley Pride was the last solo artist to do it with "Night Games" in 1983.

Working in country music means Darius spends a lot of time away from his home in Charleston, S.C. He has to make a certain number of trips to Nashville to record and do promotional work, and concert tours keep him away from his wife and kids for days and weeks at a time. As it turns out, that’s not such a bad thing.

"I think that’s why I’ve been happily married for so long," he told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "I know it’s her world, and I’m trying to figure out how to make it better. That’s my job. ‘I’m gonna be gone for two weeks, here’s some flowers.’ I can honestly say we’re getting along better now, we’re closer than we’ve ever been, and it’s just ‘cause we know each other now and we accept each other for who we are, and we know I have to go on the road. There’s no other job I can do, period. This is what I’m skilled to do."

Darius and Beth have been married since 2000. And at least one of his upcoming dates will keep him at home: He’s playing Charleston on Dec. 5.

After the first of the year, he hits the road again as part of Brad Paisley’s tour. Joining them on the Paisley Party — which kicks off Jan. 15 in Tupelo, Miss. — are Dierks Bentley and Crystal Shawanda.