Did you ever wonder whether Darius Rucker, aka Hootie of Hootie & the Blowfish, feels as if he has been reincarnated?
We did, and we would have asked him if we'd gotten a phone interview. That didn't happen despite an offer from a publicist, but, oh well. We were able to interview him a few years ago before he hit the big time as a country star.
Rucker, along with the Eli Young Band and David Nail bring the “True Believers Tour” to Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 30.
Rucker first attained multiplatinum status as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish, which sold more than 25 million records in the '90s. Their album “Cracked Rear View” earned the band Billboard's Band of the Year award in 1996.
Rucker's distinctive vocals seemed to resonate with listeners in hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”
But all good things must come to an end, or at least fade away, and by 2007 band members were working on solo projects.
Exit Hootie; enter Darius Rucker. Reinventing himself as a country artist, in 2008 he released the album “Learn to Live.” The album's first single, “Don't Think I Don't Think About It,” made him the first African-American with a No. 1 country song since Charley Pride in 1983.
His career as a country music artist continued to roll on like a wagon wheel, with two more chart-topping singles — “It Won't Be Like This For Long” and “Alright.” His 2010 follow-up album, “Charleston, SC 1966,” chalked up two more No. 1s: “Come Back Song” and “This.”
In 2013, Rucker released “True Believers,” an album that reached No. 1 in Billboard's U.S. Top Country Albums chart. One of the singles, “Wagon Wheel,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs and U.S. Country Airplay charts.
Rucker is up for a Grammy Award this Sunday for Best Country Solo Performance for “Wagon Wheel.”