Darius Rucker Celebrates Two Major Career Milestones in Nashville

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

His rendition of Wagon Wheel captivated fans nearly a decade ago, and now Darius Rucker is celebrating two major career milestones in Nashville. 

Forbes reported over the weekend that songwriters, musicians, and industry executives came together in downtown Nashville to celebrate Darius Rucker’s latest number-one hit track Beers and Sunshine. The new tune is considered Rucker’s tenth single to hit number one on the country music charts. 

The song’s writers, which were Darius Rucker, Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, and J.T. Harding, reflected on writing the tune during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We got on Zoom and it was weird, but also so much fun,” Rucker explained, “Because Zoom is no-nonsense. When you get together in a writing room, you sit around, you talk about your kids, you talk about what’s going on, and you take 40 minutes before you start writing. Not on Zoom. On Zoom it’s like, ‘Let’s write the song!’”

Darius Rucker further explained that he and fellow writers knew Beers and Sunshine was something special. “And then, Ross [Copperman] went out of his way to record this whole record on Zoom. Nobody was ever in the room together. Ross would get the drummer to play, then he’d get the bass player to play, and when everything was done, he got my vocals over Zoom.”

Darius Rucker Reflects on Being in Country Music For Nearly 20 Years 

Along with enjoying the success of Beers and Sunshine, Darius Rucker reflected on his time as a country artist for the past 16 years. 

“It’s pretty exciting,” Darius Rucker told Forbes. “Because not really expecting much from the beginning, then having success out of the box, and now 16 years later, ten No. 1’s. That’s pretty amazing.”

Craig Melvin, NBC’s Today Show anchor and friend of Darius Rucker also attended the celebration. He told Forbes, “When they said Darius had achieved something with Wagon Wheel, that only four songs in the history of country music had achieved, I was like, I’ve got to be there. This is history in the making.”

Melvin then said that Darius Rucker’s “superstar status” in country music follows his success as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish. “It’s another thing entirely to have lightning strike twice in a major way,” Melvin explained. “And it did for him.”

Darius Rucker also discussed the success of Wagon Wheel and how the song continues to be a huge hit. “Wagon Wheel has become part of the lexicon,” Rucker says with a laugh. “When I play it, people lose their minds, just as they did the other night at the Opry. When we got to that song, everybody stood up and started dancing. How many times does that happen at the Opry?”