Darius Rucker Talks About An Uncomfortable Racial Moment In Country Music Ahead Of CMA Awards

Bruce Haring
·2 min read

Although he’s the cohost of the Country Music Association Awards, Darius Rucker still doesn’t feel comfortable in the genre.

The Hootie & The Blowfish singer has had a country career since 2008, but recalled a certain awkward moment for the Color Me Country radio show.

“So I wasn’t really thinking about the Black country singer thing … I wanted people to play 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 I walked into [a country radio station] — 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. ‘I love the song. I think it’s country. Love it. I’m going to play it tomorrow, but I don’t think my audience will accept a Black country singer.’ I go, ‘Wow. Really? I thought music was notes and words and chords. I didn’t know music was color. I found that out today.’ “

Rucker said current events have led him to talk more about systemic racism.

“I’m not a real political guy. I don’t really get into that stuff. I make music for me, and I hope people like it. But I just felt like it was time to say something, because I was feeling different.”

Rucker will present Black country singer Charley Pride, 86, with a Life time Achievement Award at the CMA Awards, which air Wednesday, November 11 at 8pm ET on ABC.

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