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"That song is definitely me," Darius tells The Boot as he settles into a chair in his dressing room backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. "I love the song. Josh Kear and I wrote it together. It started out as a family song, but turned into a bigger thing. We were trying to get across the defiant 'I'm going to make it no matter what you say' attitude."
"He had the chorus idea and I thought it was great," Darius says of Josh, who has also co-written Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," Luke Bryan's "Drunk on You" and Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away." "That kid's a genius and a hell of a singer. I'm a big fan of that guy."
Darius and Josh co-wrote several songs for the singer's much-anticipated third album. "His melodies are wonderful," Darius notes. "That's what I love ... when I hear him sing, I really want to sing what he just sung because he's so good at it. He can tell a story."
In writing "True Believers," Darius pulled heavily from personal experience and says the song is one of the most autobiographical he's ever written. The first verse says: "Church bells ringing on our wedding day, climbed in that limo and rode away/ Guess you'll always hear some people say they're never gonna make it."
Listening to the song begs the question: When Darius married his lovely wife Beth, did he feel there were any skeptics? "I don't feel it, I know it," he says with a laugh. "But that was cool, I don't blame them. I was a different guy back then, but I grew into who I am now."
These days Darius is not only a successful country artist, he's a happily married father of two, living in Charleston, S.C. with the love of his life. The song's message of believing in yourselves and overcoming obstacles is one that resonates not only with Darius personally, but with his fans.
"It's amazing how many people I hear from in a day on Twitter about how it just inspires them," says Darius. "It's great to hear from couples how it's inspiring them. It's cool to hear that from people."
When it came time to pick the first single from his new album, Darius knew "True Believers" was the right choice.
"The message is great and it sounded different than anything else I've put on radio," explains the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. "It's a different song and I just thought it sounded great coming out of my stereo."
Darius' favorite line in the song is "Every roadblock was a chance to say; take my hand I'm here beside you."
"That's what it all comes down to," he says. "When you come up to those problems, just saying that we're going to do this together. I think that's the most important thing."
A release date and title for Darius Rucker's third album have yet to be announced, but we do know the disc will feature "Wagon Wheel," a duet with his Capitol labelmates Lady Antebellum.