In the 1990s, Darius Rucker became one of the most famous people in music. The frontman for the immensely popular group Hootie & the Blowfish, Rucker’s booming voice on songs like “Hold My Hand” and “Only Wanna Be With You” could be heard far and wide.
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Later in life, Rucker dove into a solo career in the country genre, where he’s become one of the style’s biggest names, winning awards and placing tracks on the Billboard country charts.
With so much success, one might wonder what the 57-year-old Charleston, South Carolina-born artist might have to say about his craft and the world at large, about life and love.
Without further ado, these are the 30 best Darius Rucker quotes.
1. “School was very important to me, and music was what kept me coming back.”
2. “I’m always up at 7:30, usually earlier. Having three kids will do that.”
3. “People go, ‘Oh, you’re another guy who crossed over to country.’ I say, name another one. Name one other pop singer who’s done what I’ve done as a country singer. There isn’t one.”
4. “No doubt about it, country is a much more family-friendly business than pop.”
5. “A lot of times, I don’t want to listen to my stuff, because I’m thinking maybe I didn’t do my best.”
6. “I love jam bands, but I still like a three-and-a-half-minute rock song.”
7. “If I did a show and didn’t do Hootie songs, I would be ripping people off.”
8. “People looked at me as a carpetbagger coming over from pop to country. But it helped because it got me in the room.”
9. “There are so many people who would like to see me not make it in Nashville. But that’s good motivation.”
10. “The first year I started liking the Dolphins was Super Bowl VI, which they lost to the Cowboys. I was 5. My whole family was pulling for the Cowboys, so I rooted for the Dolphins. They lost, and I cried.”
11. “As a kid, I was big into Al Green, Gladys Knight and the Pips, but as I got older, I started listening to all sorts of music, including country.”
12. “I’d be lying to say I’ve not experienced a lot of racism in my life; it’s very much alive. I don’t let it bother me. I couldn’t be the singer I am if I didn’t let it go.”
13. “I can’t live without my family, golf, and football.”
14. “I’m not a studio rat. I do find sitting around playing the same song 12 times kind of tedious. I like to get in and get out.”
15. “I make records so I can go on tour. There’s nothing else. I love to go out and play for people.”
16. “To have John Mellencamp compliment my songwriting? That was unreal.”
17. “There’s a lot of stuff I thought I’d do in the world, but I never thought I’d have a street named after me in my hometown. It’s a great feeling.
18. “The worst thing for me when I go to a concert is a whole bunch of ballads. You get bored.
19. “I’ve always listened to country music. I wanted Hootie to become a country band at first, but I was outvoted.
20. “I think the people who are sitting in their living room doing those, ‘Let’s take country music back’ blogs and all that stuff, that’s crazy to me. No one’s saying that about rock & roll, and no one sounded like the Beatles since 1960. No one says that about R&B, and no one sounded like the Commodores since 1970.”
21. “I pay almost no attention to the charts.”
22. “Everybody’s got problems, and if you’re gonna leave somebody because they have problems, you’re gonna be alone for a long time.”
23. “When you hear people scream because they’re about to hear a song that has been a part of their life, there’s nothing like that.”
24. “There’s two times of year for me: Football season, and waiting for football season.”
25. “I always say, no matter what happens to me as a black man in country music, I can handle it if Charley Pride could handle all the stuff he went through.”
26. “If it wasn’t for Kenny Rogers, I don’t think I would be in country music. He was that guy when I was a kid—his music and ‘Hee Haw’ made me perk my ears up and made me say, ‘What is this? I want to hear more of that.’ He was that catalyst for me to start this whole run in country music.”
27. “I’m used to being the only black guy. I’ve seriously walked onstage, looked out in the audience, 15,000 people—and I’m the only one in the place. It’s no big deal. My whole career’s been like that.”
28. “I love Hootie & the Blowfish and what we do, but that’s not my main focus anymore.”
29. “Everything that I do on stage comes from seeing the Black Crowes in ’95 in Charlotte. For ‘Let Her Cry,’ I was just trying to write ‘She Talks to Angels.'”
30. “When I was growing up, I always knew that if I ever got anything, I was going to give back as much as I can. I learned that all you have to be willing to do is give your time.”
Photo by Keith Griner/ Courtesy EB Media