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Darius Rucker’s Historic ‘Wagon Wheel’: Now 8x Platinum & Top 5 All-Time

Capitol Records Nashville’s Darius Rucker was surprised with a plaque celebrating the RIAA’s recent 8x-Platinum certification of his hit song “Wagon Wheel
during a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
yesterday, February 12. Since topping the charts for back-to-back weeks
in 2013, “Wagon Wheel” has now become one of the top five best-selling
Country songs of all time and Rucker is now the only solo male country
act to achieve the honor of an 8x-plus multi-Platinum song in RIAA’s
history.

Lured under the pretense of seeing his exhibit at the Country Music Hall
of Fame & Museum, Rucker was surprised when he rounded the corner
to see his record label of 14+ years, UMG Nashville, holding a plaque.
“What are y’all doing here?!” Rucker remarked, taking in the presence of
label heads and esteemed industry guests from the RIAA gathered around
his exhibit, which features the suit he wore in the “Wagon Wheel” music
video alongside other memorabilia from his remarkable career. After
hearing the news – and pausing to really read the plaque’s inscription –
an in-awe Rucker added, “I don’t believe you. I don’t believe this! Wow, what a testament to the fans and their love of Country music.”

“Wagon Wheel,” originally released by Old Crow Medicine Show in 2004,
was written by the band’s lead singer, Ketch Secor, and was based on a
sketch by Bob Dylan, who is credited as a co-writer. The single was
featured on Rucker’s Gold-certified, No.1 album True Believers
and has since accumulated over 960 million global streams. “Wagon Wheel”
also won a GRAMMY for Best Country Solo Performance at the 56th Annual
GRAMMY Awards, the third of Rucker’s career.

 

Even in my wildest dreams for Wagon Wheel, the singer was never me or Bob, remarked Secor upon learning of the songs new accolade. It
could have been a lot of different people who had the big hit with it.
It could have been one of those perfect-smile guys with the made-for-TV
personalities. That it was instead a salt of the earth singer like
Darius is something divine I
ll leave to the theologians to figure out.

 

Mike
Dungan, UMGN Chairman & CEO, recalls the conversation he had with
Rucker when he first decided to record the song: “Darius called my cell
phone one night and told me that he was in the audience for the talent
show at his daughter’s high school. He said, ‘Hey man, do you know that
song ‘Wagon Wheel?’ I just watched a band full of kids perform it, and
it reminded me of how great that song is, and I want to cut it.’ I said,
‘you’re crazy,’ to which he said, ‘well I’m cuttin’ it! I’ll talk to
you later!’ We (the label) thought that this was going to either be
huge… or a disaster. He was right, everybody’s happy, life is good!”

“On behalf of RIAA, we’re so pleased to mark such an amazing
accomplishment,” said Jackie Jones, Vice President of Industry Relations
at the Recording Industry Association of America. “A certification of
this magnitude is incredibly rare—occurring only a few times in our
organization’s history. Darius, his team and the entire UMG Nashville
family should be very proud of this historic moment in music.”

The Associated Press broke the news, capturing the plaque presentation surprise which can be viewed HERE.

About Darius Rucker

Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the record industry as
lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie
& the Blowfish. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008,
he’s enjoyed four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart
and nine No. 1 singles at Country radio, earning a whole new legion of
fans. As a lifelong philanthropist, Rucker is a constant supporter of
the MUSC Children’s Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, South
Carolina. He has also raised millions of dollars for St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital through his annual Darius & Friends benefit
concert and golf tournament, as well as for more than 200 charitable
causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South
Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation. Rucker
recently wrapped the Group Therapy Tour with his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of generation-defining smash Cracked Rear View in addition to the November 1 release of Imperfect Circle, their first album in nearly 15 years. For more information, visit www.dariusrucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.

 Photo Credit: Strange Bird Media

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