Well-wishers in Nashville packed ASCAP’s lobby wall-to-wall Tuesday (Nov. 11) to see Darius Rucker and Clay Mills honored for their recent No. 1 song, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.”
Recorded by Rucker, the former lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” is the first country song by an African-American to go to the top since Charley Pride accomplished that feat in 1983 with “Night Games.”
“A year ago,” said the clearly jubilant Rucker, “we told our son you can be anything you want — except president or a country singer. Now we can’t say that.”
Rucker said he approached Capitol Records chief Mike Dungan two and a-half years ago and asked him to “give me a shot” at making a country record. He admitted he originally had doubts he would be accepted as a country artist.
“I felt like an outsider,” Rucker told reporters during a brief press conference just before the party began. He speculated that “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” had done so well for him because it was “an adult song” that had wide emotional applications.
The song was the second No. 1 for Mills, who first topped the country charts in 2002 via Diamond Rio‘s “Beautiful Mess.”
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad gave each writer a new acoustic guitar to mark the occasion and announced that Rucker will begin touring with Brad Paisley in January.