Darius Rucker says acceptance of Black Country musicians has 'changed drastically'

'Country music has this stigma of rebel flags and racism, and that's changing'
Darius Rucker
Photo credit Getty Images

Country star, Darius Rucker, recently spoke out regarding his beliefs on the state of race in Country music and the ways it has evolved over time.

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The “Wagon Wheel” singer recently penned a piece for Nashville’s Tennesseean newspaper as part of its Hallowed Sound series, which focuses on highlighting Black legacies in American music.

In the piece, Darius shared his own experiences rising to fame as a Black Country artist and the hope he has for the future of artists like him.

“When I came to Nashville 14 years ago, I was going into the radio stations and being told that they didn't think it was going to work because I was African American” Rucker wrote. “That was tough. But I was glad to get the truth, and it was what it was. When I had three number ones in a row on my first record, I think that made people go, ‘Well, maybe we were wrong.’”

Wrong they were, as Darius was followed by even more talented artists of color who started to fill the genre and raise awareness surrounding the lack of Black representation in the genre.

“It was great for me, but I felt even better when I saw Kane Brown getting a deal, and Jimmie Allen getting a deal, and Mickey Guyton coming out and doing her thing.

He continued, “When you have people that talented, it's important to get them represented. And the more that happens, the bigger our audience is going to get, because there's going to be more people of color looking at Country music in a different way.

Darius remains hopeful for the future of Black artists in Country music and admits that over time, he has seen a shift in the diversity of Country music.

“Country music has this stigma of rebel flags and racism, and that's changing,” he wrote. “I think it's changing drastically. And I'm just glad. I hope I'm remembered as one of the people that tried to fight that, and one of the reasons that changed.”

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