Darius Rucker has gone from rock to R&B and, in more recent times, country music.
His country music career began in early 2008 and while you may think this was a random move, for Darius it was a long time coming.
“I had been talking about making country records my whole life. When Hootie (Hootie and the Blowfish – a previous band he was a part of) decided to take a break and not play anymore, that’s what I wanted to do.
With our first single, we went to 110 different radio stations, four or five a day, five days a week
“I didn’t expect the success I’ve had. I was really happy with the record deal I got. It just took off. It was hard work.
“With our first single, we went to 110 different radio stations, four or five a day, five days a week. It was a lot of work, a lot of shaking hands and kissing babies but it was worth it.”
While careers in show business can appear as if it’s all positive, as with all jobs there can be plenty of lows too.
“My career has had a lot of ups and downs. I think I remember the downs more than I remember the ups. It’s easy to stay humble.
“You see a lot of artists who are getting success and you think that things are going to come easy. Stuff doesn’t come easy for me, I still have to work for it. So if you’ve got to work for it, you really appreciate it.”
His tip for those who have a desire to make it in the industry is to “work your butt off”.
There are millions of people who are more talented than I am, that didn’t have the work ethic to make it
“If you want it really badly then go get it. The success is still great, it’s wonderful, so chase it. Go hard though, because you can’t half-ass it.”
They say talent can only get you so far and Darius believes he wouldn’t be where he is today without his hard-working attitude.
“There are millions of people who are more talented than I am, that didn’t have the work ethic to make it.
“My work ethic probably comes from always telling myself that I was going to work my butt off and become successful so that my family could live better. I just really wanted it.”
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Darius still lives there with his wife and three children and always looks forward to returning to them after being on the road.
“Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to play music. You have those moments like every kid when you think you’re going to be a professional athlete but ever since I had my first Al Green record, singing was really all I ever wanted to do.
“I think Charleston influences everything about me. It’s a laid-back city with really cool people.”
Music is tough, and even if you make it, even if you have a hit, that doesn’t mean it’s going to last
None of Darius’s children aspire to follow him into the music industry, nor does he encourage them to do so.
“Music is tough, and even if you make it, even if you have a hit, that doesn’t mean it’s going to last and then you spend the rest of your life chasing that hit.
“You could be working in some job that you don’t like thinking about that one hit, so I didn’t really encourage it.”
Golf is what Darius claims to be his only “real hobby” outside of his music career.
“I love golf, I play as much golf as I can. I love coming over [to Europe] and playing those courses. I’m actually a member of Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland. I like to go over there and play.”
If you’re nosy like us in Irish Country Living, you may be wondering what his handicap is. “Five, well 5.7 right now.”
Tiger and I are family
This love for golf is what sparked the friendship between Darius and Tiger Woods. They met about 25 years ago, in a club in East Lansing, Michigan. This was when Tiger was 18, before he attended Stanford.
“Tiger and I are family. Hootie was playing a bunch of clubs that were good to us, our record was taking off but we didn’t want to cancel the dates.
“We went out after one of the shows and I walked into a club and there was Tiger Woods. So I walked over to introduce myself and we started talking and having a really good time.
“The really crazy part of this story is we were sitting there and all of a sudden the Stanley Cup (ice hockey championship trophy) comes in.
“One of the guys went to Michigan State and had the cup that week so me and Tiger were there drinking out of the Stanley Cup.”
They have been friends ever since that night.
“He (Tiger) laughs you know and says that I’ve been the soundtrack to his life because I’ve sung at his wedding, at his dad’s funeral and at his 40th birthday, so he’s more family than friend. We’re pretty tight.”
Darius Rucker headlines Country to Country on 13 March in the 3 Arena, Dublin.