Darius Rucker received a nice surprise on Tuesday, October 2 when Brad Paisley told him that he has been invited to become the latest member of Grand Ole Opry. Rucker, who founded Hootie and the Blowfish in 1986, would be the first African-American to join the Opry since Charley Pride became a member in 1993.
Rucker was performing at the usual Tuesday night Opry show. He allowed audience to ask him some questions, two of them coming from a man with white hat, who turned out to be Paisley. "One, are you still the worst poker player in the world?" Paisley teased Rucker, continuing "And two. Would you like to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry?"
The audience stood up as Rucker shook his head in disbelief and moved to tears. "Welcome him home, everyone," Paisley said on stage. Rucker told the audience, "You guys are here for one of the most special nights of my life. Thank you for sharing it with me."
Opry's Vice President and General Manager, Pete Fisher, said in a statement, "It's been clear from the moment Darius first stepped on our stage in 2008 in what high regard he holds the Grand Ole Opry and similarly how much Opry fans love Darius' music. He's forged an incredible, diverse musical path which has led today to the top of the country charts. ...We look forward to him becoming an official Opry member in just a couple of weeks."
Rucker will be inducted on October 16 and the ceremony would air two days later on GAC at 8 P.M. CT.