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Darius Rucker Formally Inducted into the Grand Ole Opry

Image courtesy of CMA (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of CMA (via ABC News Radio)

Darius Rucker officially became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night in Nashville. Vince Gill was on hand to do the honors, and his pal Keith Urban made a surprise appearance onstage to congratulate Darius on the big occasion. Darius also got pre-taped shout outs from Radney Foster and Tiger Woods during the show. He also sang his latest hit, "True Believers," along with his early songs "Alright" and "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

Star of ABC's Nashville Connie Britton , football star Dan Marino and Rodney Atkins were among the other notable celebrities on hand for Darius's induction.

Joining the Opry is a big deal for Darius since he just moved into the country genre in 2008 after achieving stardom with Hootie & The Blowfish in '90s.

He says of getting the invitation, "It meant so much to me 'cause I knew if I could ever be a member that I -- there's no more conversation about being accepted or anything, you know. I'm in."

Darius calls the Grand Ole Opry "the church of country music," and he's honored to join legendary Opry stars like George Jones and Loretta Lynn as a new member. His fellow Opry members  Brad Paisley  and Carrie Underwood  have also offered their well wishes to Darius on this big achievement.

Darius says of joining their ranks, "For me to now be right next to them standing shoulder-to-shoulder, that was something I dreamt about, and now it's a dream come true."

Darius has a few big Grand Ole Opry moments that stand out before Tuesday night's induction. He is one of the rare African American artists to find success on the country charts along with Opry legend Charley Pride .

Darius recalls the first night he met Charley at the Grand Ole Opry, "We went backstage for about 45 minutes and just sat with me and him in a room and talked. That's a conversation only me and him could have." He adds, "That was a special, special night. He talked to me like I was his son, and that was a special night."

Look for Darius to make more Grand Ole Opry appearances as he gears up to release his third country album, True Believers , early next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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