Darius Rucker Recalls Questions Whether Audiences Would Accept A Black Country Singer

Hootie & The Blowfish singer Darius Rucker recently shared a particularly disturbing experience with regard to Black people in the country music genre.

The singer revealed that at the start of his career as a country musician in 2008, some radio programmers questioned whether audiences would accept a Black country singer.

“I had just come from doing the Hootie thing, and so, when I came here and said I would do a radio tour, they were all excited,” Rucker shared during an interview with Apple Music‘s “Color Me Country With Rissi Palmer.” “And I was doing what my label wanted me to do. I guess I hadn’t had any hits. So I wasn’t really thinking about the Black country singer thing.”

He added that his primary goal was that people played “my music for my music. If you like the song, please play it. If not, don’t. Don’t play it because I’m Black and please don’t not play it because I’m Black.”

“The first time it really hit me was the first time I walked into [a country radio station],” Rucker said. “Nobody said they wouldn’t play it. What was said was, ‘I don’t think my audience will accept a Black country singer.’ Just like that.”

Twelve years into his county music career, however, Rucker co-hosted the CMA Awards alongside Reba McEntire on Wednesday.

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