Darius Rucker Reacts to Beyonce’s Country Music Album ‘Cowboy Carter’

Darius Rucker famously pivoted to country music in 2008, and the musician is sharing his thoughts on Beyoncé making her country debut with Cowboy Carter.

“I’m happy for her. I’m happy for the genre,” Rucker, 57, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting his upcoming memoir and tour. “The eyes that she brought to country music went up, and that’s always a good thing when you have more people watching country music.”

The Hootie and the Blowfish frontman added: “I hope what she’s done translate[s] even more than it already has to more people of color getting a shot at country music.”

Beyoncé, 42, made history as the first Black woman to top the Hot Country Songs chart with the album’s lead single “Texas Hold ‘Em.” Cowboy Carter, which she released on March 29, quickly topped the charts, becoming Beyoncé’s eighth No. 1 album. The Grammy-winning superstar paid homage to the Black women of country music and the history of country in general throughout the record, with a slew of star-studded features as well as historical samples and interpolations.

Related: What Black Country Artists Have Said About Racism in the Genre

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton and more Black country artists have been candid about the racism they have faced in the genre. When Rucker made the transition from the frontman for the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish to country superstar, he had to […]

Notably, “Spaghettii” and “The Linda Martell Show” include cameos from Linda Martell, who is widely considered to be the first commercially successful Black female country artist.

Darius Rucker Is Happy For Beyonce and the Country Music Genre Following Cowboy Carter Release

Darius Rucker, Beyoncé
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images(2);Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood

“I feel honored to be the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart. That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you,” Beyoncé wrote via Instagram in March. “My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

Rucker is also a pioneer in the country music space and an advocate for people of color in the genre. After taking a hiatus from his band Hootie and the Blowfish and signing with Capitol Nashville in 2008, he made his country debut with Learn to Live. The following year, Rucker became the first Black American to win New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Awards and only the second Black person ever to win a CMA.

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He broke records once again when he took home the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance in 2014 for “Wagon Wheel,” becoming the third Black recording act to win a vocal performance Grammy Award for country music.

Rucker still moves back and forth between genres. After he finishes his run of European concerts for his solo music, he’ll reunite with Hootie and the Blowfish for their Summer Camp With Trucks Tour, which kicks off May 30 in Texas. The band’s summer tour starts right after Rucker’s memoir, Life’s Too Short, hits bookstands on May 28.

With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton

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