CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One of South Carolina's famous sons and musicians received a special accolade Tuesday night.
Darius Rucker was officially inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
Brad Paisley surprised him with the invitation earlier this month.
"I'm still surprised," Rucker said afterward. "They shocked me. Everybody, my wife and I'm just finding out even my kids knew. I wasn't expecting anything today. I didn't think tonight is the night I'd be asked to be a member of the Opry. That's unbelievable."
Rucker rose to fame as the front man for Hootie & The Blowfish but began to pursue his passion for country music a few years ago.
The singer rose to fame as the frontman for South Carolina rockers Hootie & The Blowfish but began to pursue his lifelong passion for country music a few years ago. He's had a multiplatinum, award-winning run since and will release his third country album early next year.
The 46-year-old is the third black performer to hold Opry membership, joining Country Music Hall of Fame members DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride.
"I felt like I was in," Rucker said. "I felt like I was accepted and I was part of the family. This is the completion of the conversion from Hootie into Darius the country singer. With the induction into the Opry, it's definitely complete now."