Darius Rucker talks about racism he experienced in country music: ‘I didn’t know music was color’

Sponsored Video
Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Darius Rucker is preparing to take the stage next week, as he hosts the Country Music Association Awards for the first time.

But the three-time Grammy winner hasn’t always been embraced by his country music peers, throughout his nearly four-decade career.

He recently opened up about the racism he experienced in the country music industry, as he checked in with the Color Me Country radio show, ahead of his hosting gig.

Racism in country: Darius Rucker recently opened up about the racism he experienced in the country music industry, as he checked in with the Color Me Country radio show, ahead of his CMA Awards hosting gig

Racism in country: Darius Rucker recently opened up about the racism he experienced in the country music industry, as he checked in with the Color Me Country radio show, ahead of his CMA Awards hosting gig

The 54-year-old said in the interview, obtained by People: ‘I’d just come from the Hootie thing, and so, when I came here and said I would do a radio tour, they were all excited. 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 … 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.’

He served as the frontman for rock group Hootie & the Blowfish from 1986 to 2008, before they reunited last year for a tour and their sixth studio album Imperfect Circle.

Rucker embarked on a solo country music career back in 2008, after dropping his solo R&B album Back to Then in 2001.

Going solo: The 54-year-old said in the interview, obtained by People: 'I'd just come from the Hootie thing, and so, when I came here and said I would do a radio tour, they were all excited. I was doing what my label wanted me to do' (pictured in June, 2015)

Going solo: The 54-year-old said in the interview, obtained by People: ‘I’d just come from the Hootie thing, and so, when I came here and said I would do a radio tour, they were all excited. I was doing what my label wanted me to do’ (pictured in June, 2015)

Love of music: He added: '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' (pictured in September, 2019)

Love of music: He added: ‘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’ (pictured in September, 2019)

Boy band: He served as the frontman for rock group Hootie & the Blowfish from 1986 to 2008, before embarking on his solo country music career (pictured in August, 1995)

Boy band: He served as the frontman for rock group Hootie & the Blowfish from 1986 to 2008, before embarking on his solo country music career (pictured in August, 1995)

He continued: ‘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.”‘

The Beer and Sunshine artist has paved the way for other modern Black country artists like Lil Nas X, Kane Brown and Mickey Guyton.

He also opened up about how current events and the conversation around systemic racism has pushed him to be more outspoken on the issue.  

Rucker referenced the 2017 white supremacist rally in Virginia: ‘It was Charlottesville, it was a whole bunch of stuff. Just watching the world that we knew change, and watching people think it’s cool now to hate.

Not accepting: Rucker continued: '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"' (pictured in July, 2019)

Not accepting: Rucker continued: ‘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”‘ (pictured in July, 2019)

Can't hear color: He said: '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"' (pictured in October, 2018)

Can’t hear color: He said: ‘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”‘ (pictured in October, 2018)

‘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.’ 

He’s presenting fellow Black country legend Charley Pride, 86, with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards, which airs Wednesday, November 11 at 8pm ET on ABC. 

The Southern Style artist expressed his longtime appreciation for Pride: ‘It’s truly surreal. I remember having a Charley Pride record in my mom’s collection that I don’t think my mom ever put on, but she bought that record because he was a Black man singing country music.’

He added: ‘I remember the first time I saw Charley on Hee Haw. Hee Haw was so big for me because I love music … here comes this guy that looks like me singing Kiss An Angel Good Mornin, and you’re like, “Oh my goodness.”

‘Now, decades and decades later, to be a part of him getting an award … There’s nobody that deserves it more than Charley. Nobody. To be a part of that, I’m so honored. I’m honored to call him a friend.’

Country legends: Rucker is presenting fellow Black country legend Charley Pride, 86, with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards, which airs Wednesday, November 11 at 8pm ET on ABC (pictured in June, 2016)

Country legends: Rucker is presenting fellow Black country legend Charley Pride, 86, with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards, which airs Wednesday, November 11 at 8pm ET on ABC (pictured in June, 2016)

Source


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Related posts