Darius Rucker celebrates his 58th birthday today, as he gears up this month to release his memoir Life’s Too Short: A Memoir by Darius Rucker. The book will be out on May 28.

Darius recently told us about the new book: “I always said I wouldn’t write the book until [my kids] were adults. When my son turned seventeen or eighteen, he started wanting to talk about it. I’ve been honest with them when they were old enough to talk about it. I was just honest with them.”

Rock Star

He noted it was something his son Jack told him that put his mind at ease on the book, “I would always tell them, ‘You shouldn’t do this,’ and they understood. And one of the things I was so worried about was that I was so honest about it. He was like, ‘Dad: who’s gonna be surprised that rock stars party? That’s not breaking news to anybody!’ And I was like, ‘You’re right.'”

When he announced the book, Rucker said, “If I look back at my life and try to see into my past, everything seems blurry. But then I lean in and start to hear something. Melodies. Chords. Harmonies. Lyrics.”

He continued, “This book is the story of my life as told through twenty-three songs that took me away, soaring, starting at ground level, living in a poor but happy home, never wanting for much more, enjoying what I had, even when times got tough because I had my escape, my refuge, my music.”

His Son Jack

That same son is following in his dad’s footsteps: he’s a songwriter.  Darius told us in a recent interview, “Jack’s actually a musician now. He’s a songwriter, and that’s something he wants to do with his life, and he’s working on that.”

When asked what kind of music Jack does, Rucker replied, “He’s kind of like a Post Malone kind of guy. We’re cutting some songs, but I don’t know what we are going to do with them. We’re just seeing.”

He added, “I’m proud of all my kids, and Jack is a good kid. He’s a tall, good-looking kid who can really write a song.”

What better way to celebrate Rucker’s birthday than highlighting four of his biggest songs in country music to date? As the Grand Ole Ory member becomes an elder statesman in country music; we look at the songs that brought him here.  

RELATED: Darius Rucker Put On His ‘Inner Stabler’ For Music Video

  • "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" (2008)

    The song, co-written by Darius and Clay Mills, was released in May 2008 as Rucker’s first single from his album Learn to Live. The song made Rucker the first new individual black artist to chart a number-one country hit since Charley Pride’s “Night Games” reached the top of the charts in September 1983. It was also his first solo Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, at number 35. In May 2014, the song sold over a million copies. https://youtu.be/3HsYNUUl9MM

  • "Alright" (2009)

    This song was released in April 2009 as the third single from his first country music album, Learn to Live. This number-one song’s music video used various camera shots and angles. It features Rucker singing the song in Venice, California, sometimes within a crowd of people. The video was voted in #34 on GAC’s Top 50 Videos of the Year list. https://youtu.be/etr7UtnUflM

  • "Come Back Song" (2010)

    A number one song, “Come Back Song,” was co-written by Rucker and Nashville songwriters Casey Beathard and Chris Stapleton. This was, of course, before Chris Stapleton kicked off his solo career. It was released to country music radio in July 2010 as the lead single from his second album of country music Charleston, SC 1966.

    The music video for the popular song was filmed in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

  • "Wagon Wheel" (2013)

    If there was an anthem in Darius’ song catalog, this song would be it. The song, a cover of a song by Old Crow Medicine Show, changed his country music career, winning a Grammy in 2013 for Best Solo Country Performance. A lot of artists from outside the genre try their hand at country music, but few have been as successful as Darius Rucker. And this song was one of his first country classics.

    He told us of the song recently, “‘Wagon Wheel’ is one of those songs that all of us artists want. It’s a song that just won’t stop.”

    Rucker was in a Nashville bar not long ago when he realized that the song was so popular it was banned. He explained, “I went into Tootsies the other night, and they had one of the signs that said ‘Ten days since somebody played ‘Wagon Wheel.’ And somebody said, ‘Does that bother you?’ and I said, ‘No, that doesn’t bother me. Do you know how big your song is for people to ban it from a bar?’ They banned ‘Freebird.’ They don’t ban songs that aren’t big. (laughs). It doesn’t bother me in the least.”

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