Darius Rucker Praises Beyonce's Impact on Country Music, Acknowledges Lingering Stigma

The country singer applauds the 'Renaissance' star's contributions to country music and its inclusivity, while also addressing the ongoing stigma associated with the genre.

AceShowbiz - Darius Rucker, the former frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish, has expressed his admiration for Beyonce Knowles recent embrace of country music. During an appearance on CNN's "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace", Rucker commended Beyoncé's massive 27-track album, "Cowboy Carter", as a step forward for inclusivity in the genre.

Rucker recalled how Beyoncé's project attracted a broader audience to country music, particularly African American listeners who had previously felt excluded. He stated, "When I started making country music and having hits, I'd have African American women and men come up to me and go ‘I love country music, it’s just I could never say it.' "

Rucker's own journey in country music has been marked by both progress and challenges. He became the first black artist to top Billboard's Hot Country Songs since Charley Pride in 1983, and later became the second black artist inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. However, he has also faced backlash and even death threats for his music.

Despite the strides made, Rucker acknowledged that country music still bears "this stigma of rebel flags and racism." He noted that while the negative connotation is not as prevalent as it once was, it remains "still there because it's still in America."

Beyonce's "Cowboy Carter" album made history by becoming the first No. 1 country album by a Black woman and earning the distinction of having the first No. 1 country song by a Black woman with "Texas Hold 'Em". Rucker commended Beyonce for her efforts to make country music more inclusive and representative of the nation's diversity. He stated, "I always say I want country music to look more like America and I think she did a lot to make it go that way."

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