This Wednesday, Darius Rucker is gearing up to cohost the CMA awards. But before taking the stage alongside Reba McEntire, Rucker spoke with about an uncomfortable racial experience at a country radio station.
According to Deadline, it was the moment he found out that color allegedly mattered to country music fans. Rucker recalled the very first time he walked into a country radio station and was met with: “I don’t think my audience will accept a black country singer.”
“So I wasn’t really thinking about the black country singer thing … I wanted people to play my music for my music. If you like the song, please play it. If not, don’t. Don’t play it because I’m black, and please don’t not play it because I’m black. The first time I walked into a country radio station, nobody said they wouldn’t play it. What was said was, ‘I don’t think my audience will accept a black country singer.'”
Darius was rightfully caught off guard saying:
“Wow. Really? I thought music was notes and words and chords. I didn’t know music was color. I found that out today.”
And while that station loved the song and played the song, they were skeptical about their audience receiving Darius as a black country singer.
Rucker, who has since been inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, has had multiple country #1s, and even won a Grammy in the country music category, will be presenting Charley Pride with a lifetime achievement award at the 54th Annual CMA Award show this year.