As part of Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker changed the face of mainstream pop music in the mid-'90s. Hootie & the Blowfish's blues-rock jams were infectiously fun and singles like "Hold My Hand" and "Only Wanna Be With You" propelled the band to sell nearly 20-million albums worldwide. After Hootie & the Blowfish released Musical Chairs in 1998, they took a break from recording and the road. Rucker used him time wisely and started a solo career.
Born and raised in Charleston, SC, he was fed the sounds of Otis Redding, Al Green, and Gladys Knight at an early age. His R&B influences urged him to find his soul. He did with his debut album, The Return of Mongo Slade. The album was slated for a summer 2001 release with Atlantic, but it never saw the light of day because of contractual changes. A few months later, Rucker signed with Hidden Beach Recordings. He also made a cameo in the Farrelly brothers' comedy Shallow Hal. By spring 2002, Rucker was ready to introduce his mellow, R&B style. He hooked up with Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg, Musiq, and City High's Ryan Toby for the crazy-sexy-cool Back to Then, released in July 2002. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide… Expand
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