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TODAY   |  July 11, 2013

Darius Rucker: Singing country music is ‘square one’

Singer Darius Rucker is out with his third country album, “True Believers,” which has been in Billboard’s Top 10 since its release. He tells Kathie Lee and Hoda that after singing with pop group Hootie and the Blowfish, embracing the country music scene is like heading back to square one.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> little earlier today performing "radio." and there is no one more excited than hoda woman right now.

>> yes!

>> i am, too.

>> we both are. darius is touring the country but did stop by long enough to say hello. his latest album "true believers" is his third consecutive record to hit number one on the billboard chart . the great thing about darius , he comes bearing gifts.

>> thank you.

>> what are you bringing us?

>> i'm bringing you some one hope wine.

>> one hope.

>> i teamed up with one hope to --

>> it helps my charity over in charleston, which is a great school.

>> charleston, south carolina .

>> we were just there. we loved it.

>> i am so mad i missed you guys. i was out of town. i was out of town. i was so mad i missed you guys.

>> you live there, right?

>> i live there.

>> how do you stay so thin.

>> the food there is insane.

>> i work out about as much as i should. but i work out and, you know, it's really -- it's hard. i like to eat.

>> cheers, darius . we like to drink.

>> and you are a red guy .

>> absolutely.

>> uh-huh. uh-huh.

>> that's really nice.

>> very nice.

>> i like it.

>> that's what i like about it, too. "true believers." we have to talk about this. this is your latest cd that the song "radio" is so much fun. we played "wagon wheel" this morning. this is a great dance around cd.

>> when i was listening to it, hoody who?

>> i have to set myself apart. it's fun. it's just fun getting to do what i want to do. and really my label lets me make the records i want to make and just put them out.

>> they leave you alone.

>> was the transition tough? everyone saw you as part of hootie and the blowfish . now you are this other guy.

>> it was going back to square one.

>> you are still close to the guys, though?

>> we have two shows coming up in august. we still play five or six shows a year.

>> the country music community has loved up on you.

>> they have embraced. that's not quite the word. it's a little kinkier than that.

>> it's been great. being a member of the grand ole opry , all of that great stuff that's happened. i'm part of the family now.

>> and the fans. the country music fans are the most loyal. you can have the longest, longest career in country music .

>> speaking of that. we have to ask you about our friend randy travis . how is he doing?

>> i heard he's not doing well. he had some complications. it's so sad.

>> you're done some work with him.

>> i've done a couple of shows with randy. a couple of festivals. he's such a nice, great, great dude. he's such a legend. one of the reasons i'm singing country music is because of that voice.

>> our thought goes out to him.

>> who are the other great country music stars you looked up to and wanted to be like.

>> guys that were kind of off the beaten path. dwight yoakam .

>> never saw such a tight pair of pants in my life.

>> he has to lay down to put those on, i'm sure.

>> nancy griffith is big. new grass survival. for me, i just listen to -- and hee haw was huge for me.

>> did you ever hear me sing?

>> now wait. i'm crazy about his songs. and so are you.

>> i know.

>> we're going to play a little game. you're going to sing a part of a song and i'm going to fill in the blank. i don't know all of your songs. i just know some of them. don't need no five star reservation

>> give me a little bit more. cheap bottle of wine i got a stereo and --

>> best of patsy cline .

>> can we do one more?

>> we'll do one more.

>> there it is. cheap bottle of wine

>> i know when i hear all the music.

>> what's the other one.

>> hard to find another rhyme for wine, isn't it?

>> i never thought of patsy cline . we are one before our god in heaven

>> oh!

>> do the other part. we are one heartbeat --

>> play it. i have to hear it all together.

>> not today. and tomorrow is not looking good either.

>> that's a good one, too.

>> any song if you go on itunes and click on any of your songs, i promise you you'll fall in love. darius , we love you so much.

>> we love your wine and what you are doing.

>> and your beautiful family. we had a picture of your wife and kids. you have the whole package going.

>> yes, i do. there's my babies right there.

>> you've been blessed.

>> yes, i have been blessed. they're awesome.

>> look at that photo.

>> that's just one of the