Rucker joins Grand Ole Opry
Written by CHRIS TALBOTT(   
Friday, 12 October 2012

darius-rucker-1.jpgNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Darius Ruckers conversion to country is now complete: Hes joining the Grand Ole Opry.

Rucker performed on last Tuesday nights Opry and received a visit from unannounced guest Brad Paisley, who surprised him with the invitation.

Im still surprised, Rucker said afterward. They shocked me. Everybody, my wife and Im just finding out even my kids knew. I wasnt expecting anything today. I didnt think tonight is the night Id be asked to be a member of the Opry. Thats unbelievable.

The singer rose to fame as the frontman for South Carolina rockers Hootie & The Blowfish but began to pursue his lifelong passion for country music a few years ago. Hes had a multiplatinum, award-winning run since and will release his third country album early next year.

The 46-year-old is the third black performer to hold Opry membership, joining Country Music Hall of Fame members DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride.

I felt like I was in, Rucker said. I felt like I was accepted and I was part of the family. This is the completion of the conversion from Hootie into Darius the country singer. With the induction into the Opry, its definitely complete now.

Rucker will be inducted into the Opry on Oct. 16. That show will air live on GAC.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 October 2012 )