Darius Rucker Talks Early Career, Pop Music With Clint Black

During Darius Rucker’s appearance on the first episode of Clint Black’s new series Talking in Circles, he looked back to his early transitioning days and discussed how he navigated his career at the time to keep it on track. The episode will premiere on Circle Network on May 22.

Darius Rucker began his career as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish. He released five studio albums with the band, with him writing most of the songs with the other members of the band.

As a solo artist, he released an R&B album, Back to Then, in 2002 before signing with Capitol Nashville as a country musician 6 years later.

Darius Rucker Shares How He Navigated His Career during His Early Transitioning Days

PEOPLE got an exclusive clip from the May 22 premiere episode of Clint Black’s upcoming series, Talking in Circles, as Rucker sat down with the fellow country star to discuss how he made his transition to country music when he signed to Capitol Records Nashville back in 2008.

“We were in a meeting, the very first meeting about the record when I was finishing it up. I said to him, ‘What do you do if you’re the low guy? What do you do if you’re the new guy?’ Rucker, 55, described to Black, 59. “And they were like, ‘Well you do a radio tour. But we didn’t think you would do that.’ And I said, ‘Light it up.’ We went to almost every radio station in the country.”

“For me it was, if we’re gonna do it on this level, I was going to give it all I had,” says Rucker. “I knew the best way I could do that was to let everybody that were the people playing the songs to know that I know I’m not anything in this genre. I’m just trying to get on the radio like everybody else. If you play my song, great. If not, hey man we had a beer, it was cool.”

“We went around with that attitude, and people liked the song,” Rucker says of his first charting solo single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, the country single made him the first black man to send a single to the very top of the Hot Country Songs chart, after Charley Pride did so back in 1983.

“And that was really cool,” Rucker admitted to Black.

Details about the Series Talking in Circles with Clint Black

The series, which will air on the Circle Network, will see Black have a conversation with widely different musicians, songwriters and artists. Guests on the show include Rucker, Brad Paisley, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Keb’ Mo, John Rich, Sara Evans, Travis Tritt, Steve Wariner and Trace Adkins.

“Talking in Circles will be a candid artist-to-artist conversation with some of the top entertainers in the business about songwriting, recording, and performing on the road,” Black said in a statement. “I’m excited to let people ‘overhear’ some of the things we artists have to say when we talk shop.”

In celebration of the show’s launch, the Circle Network will host an exclusive giveaway with various prizes including a complimentary two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite at Nashville’s Hutton Hotel plus a pair of show tickets with a $50 food and beverage credit for Analog at Hutton Hotel, the music venue where the series was filmed.

There’s also a chance to win items such as Black’s famous Cowboy Coffee, two Clint Black Cowboy Coffee mugs and a brand-new guitar signed by Black. Entry into the giveaway is made by texting “CLINT BLACK” to 1-615-395-6903 beginning June 1 through June 30.
Talking in Circles will premiere May 22 on The Circle Network.

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