“At the end of the day, I’m really still just Carolyn’s Boy,” three-time GRAMMY Award winner Darius Rucker shares following this morning’s interview with “TODAY” anchor Craig Melvin, during which he exclusively revealed the title of a new solo album planned for 2023 along with the meaningful cover image, a portrait of his late mother Carolyn.
“I wanted to name the record Carolyn’s Boy because Mom never got to see any of my success,” he explained. “She died before any of this happened, so it’s just another homage to the greatest woman I’ve ever known.”
When asked why now is the right time to honor her, Rucker was reflective, conceding, “years ago, I wasn’t really sure what my place in Country music was and I was trying to find it. Now I have found it – I know – and I think it’s time to give that record.”
In addition to looking ahead to the forthcoming album, Rucker also marked several major milestones during the conversation, including his 10-year anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and his recent 10th No. 1 single at Country radio with “Beers And Sunshine.” Melvin was also on hand for the celebration of a milestone only three other artists have ever achieved in Country music, as “Wagon Wheel” earned RIAA Diamond certification as an 11x Platinum hit.
“Coming into Nashville, to expect anything like that wasn’t even in the cards,” Rucker noted when asked about his reaction to achieving that level of success in Country music. “Here we are now – 15, 16, years in – it’s been a fun run.”
Together with producer Frank Rogers, Rucker also shared an exclusive look at the isolated vocal track of “Wagon Wheel” in addition to previewing new music he is working on now for the project planned for release in 2023. Fans can also get a sneak peek at the new Carolyn’s Boy album with Rucker’s recent releases, “Same Beer Different Problem” and “Ol’ Church Hymn” (featuring Chapel Hart), available everywhere now.
Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the music industry as lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish, who have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide including their Double Diamond-certified (21x Platinum) debut Cracked Rear View, which remains among the Top 10 best-selling studio albums of all time. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008, Rucker has earned a whole new legion of fans with four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart, including RIAA Platinum-certified Learn to Live and True Believers, plus 10 No. 1 singles at Country radio and 11 Gold, Platinum or multi-Platinum certified hits. Rucker was inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member in 2012 and in 2014 he won his third career GRAMMY Award for Best Solo Country Performance with his Diamond-certified (11x Platinum) version of “Wagon Wheel,” one of the Top 5 best-selling Country songs of all time. He co-hosted the 54th annual CMA Awards in 2020 and topped the charts at Country radio once again with “Beers And Sunshine” in 2021. New songs “Same Beer Different Problem” and “Ol’ Church Hymn” (featuring Chapel Hart) are available everywhere now as Rucker puts the finishing touches on a forthcoming album, Carolyn’s Boy, planned for release in 2023.
As a lifelong philanthropist, Rucker co-chaired the capital campaign that generated $150 million to help build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. and has raised over $3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through his annual Darius & Friends benefit concert and golf tournament.
In addition, Rucker has advocated for over 200 charitable causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation and serves as a National Chair for the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tenn. Rucker is also an avid sports fan, with his NFL x Darius Rucker Collection by Fanatics apparel line available at NFLshop.com, and he is part of the Music City Baseball investment group working to bring an MLB team to Tennessee in addition to serving as a partner at the MGC Sports & Entertainment agency.