Much to his own chagrin, Darius Rucker has been consistently stigmatized by the owl-ish nickname "Hootie," as in his band, "and the Blowfish." This magically changed with a 2005 Burger King commercial in which Rucker donned a ten-gallon hat, strummed an acoustic guitar and sang a Western ditty in his signature, Eddie Vedder-meets-Johnny Cash baritone. What felt like absurd shock value (or a knowingly ironic move) now documents the birth of an unlikely top-40 country solo artist. 'Tis quite the rags-to-riches-to-rags-back-to-riches tale for an artist once destined to life in the dollar bin — Rucker now enjoys serious airplay, seven-figure album sales and the opening slot for country star Brad Paisley.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.