Darius Rucker, former Hootie & The Blowfish front man turned country star, was the target of a racist tweet over the weekend, after many negative reviews of his new single "Wagon Wheel," a Bob Dylan-penned cover.
"@dariusrucker Leave country to the white folk," read the tweet, from a user identified as @pqkullman (the account has since been deactivated).
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Rucker, the first African American to hit the top of the country charts since Charley Pride in 1983, responded to the ignorant message with a series of tweets of his own.
Rucker rose to fame with Hootie & The Blowfish but ventured off on a solo country career in 2008. Inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2012, Rucker has had five No. 1 hits and received the honor of Best New Artist at the Country Music Association Awards. His fourth album, "True Believers," dropped Tuesday.
But he has taken a lot of heat for attempting to recreate "Wagon Wheel," written by Dylan and completed by Old Crow Medicine Show. Still, the song — which is the second single off the new album — hit No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart this week.
Rucker discussed the criticisms of his country career in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
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"I was absolutely shocked,"
the singer said of the racist tweet. "Sometimes people will say, 'You're not country,' and I know what that means, because they can't be talking about the music. But when somebody says to leave country music to the white folks, that is unbelievable to me… But that's life. That's something that I'm going to have to deal with the rest of my career, because I'm a black guy in country music and there are people who don't like that. But it's not going to make me quit."
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