Darius Rucker sings at Mohegan Sun

Darius Rucker performs at Mohegan Sun Arena Friday. 	AP PHOTO
Darius Rucker performs at Mohegan Sun Arena Friday. AP PHOTO

Over the past few years, scads of pop singers have trundled to Nashville, all looking to become country stars.

And most have failed. Spectacularly.

One of the very few who not only had a country hit but also became a bona-fide Nashville luminary is Darius Rucker, who used to lead Hootie and the Blowfish. Since he notched his first country hit in 2008 with "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," he's been rolling up the charts with "Alright," "Come Back Song," "Radio" and "Wagon Wheel."

When it comes to country music, he's a groundbreaker not just in the pop sense but also, more profoundly, in terms of race. When he won the Country Music Association's New Artist Award in 2009, he was the first African American to do so. Not only that, but he was just the second African American to win any CMA award.

Rucker happens to be a tremendous concert performer, too, and he'll headline a great line-up Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena, with opening acts the Eli Young Band and Joel Crouse.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

Darius Rucker,
7 p.m. Friday, Mohegan Sun Arena; with Eli Young Band and Joel Crouse; $35; mohegansun.com.

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