Evan Agostini, AP
"He's just so honored and awed, that he can't believe it," Darius' wife, Beth, tells South Carolina radio station WEZL 103.5. "In fact, somebody sent us the You Tube video, and I said, 'Did you watch it?' and he said, 'I can't. I can't get through it without crying' ... Country music is such a family, and that's the epitome of 'you are a part of our family.' He's just so honored."
The Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, who sold more than 20 million albums with the rock group, has, Beth says, always felt more at home in country music. "The funny thing is, he's actually a country guy and he always wanted to be a little more country," she explains. "[Hootie guitarist Mark Bryan] is actually the rock guy, so Mark always wanted the band to be rock rock rock ... Hootie's more country than some of those country bands."
His adoring spouse was told of the invitation in August, and made sure she was there to support her husband. Several of Darius' closest friends were also in attendance. "They knew I would want to be there," she says. "We had some friends from Charleston come, too. You don't want to have that happen and nobody be there. Frank Rogers is Darius' producer, and he also produces Brad, so he was saying when Brad got asked to do it, Brad was all bummed out because he thought nobody was there. They were all hiding. When he got off stage, same with Darius, he saw all these people, and he was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so happy people are here!'"
Darius is spending most of the remainder of the year putting the finishing touches on his upcoming CD. The new album's first single, "True Believers," is already climbing the charts.
Darius will become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 16.