Darius Rucker Makes Fashionable Entrance on Country Albums Chart With 'Southern Style'

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Darius Rucker performs onstage during 2011 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2011 in Indio, California.  (Photo by 

Twenty years after Hootie & the Blowfish's breakthrough, Rucker continues to reign at country.

Darius Rucker debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as Southern Style starts with 52,000 first-week copies sold, according to Nielsen Music.

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The set marks Rucker's fourth No. 1 in as many tries on the tally, counting only his proper studio albums; his prior release, the seasonal Home for the Holidays, reached No. 3 in December. Rucker first reached the chart with the No. 1 Learn to Live in 2008 and followed with fellow toppers Charleston, SC 1966 (2010) and True Believers (2013). All four of his No. 1s have started at the summit.

While Rucker's run is impressive, he doesn't hold the record for the most proper studio albums an artist has taken to No. 1 on Top Country Albums dating to a first entry on the chart. Glen Campbell, in 1967-69, sent his first seven sets to the top. Meanwhile, Tim McGraw (1994-2001) and Miranda Lambert (2005-14) share the record for debuting at No. 1 with the most studio albums from a first chart appearance: five each (with Lambert's streak still active).

Of course, Rucker's chart history far predates his time on Top Country Albums. Country-tinged pop-rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, fronted by Rucker, placed seven entries on the Billboard 200 from 1995 to 2005, including the No. 1s Cracked Rear View (1995) and Fairweather Johnson (1996), the group's first two LPs; with 10.3 million copies sold to date, Cracked Rear View is the 17th-best-selling album since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991.

Rucker has also charted a solo R&B album, Back to Then, which reached No. 42 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in 2002.

For all his musical career turns, Rucker recently told Billboard that he doesn't necessarily divide his catalog, or his singing style, into noticeable separate buckets. "I never think that way," he said. "I try to keep my approach pretty simple and straightforward. I just sing what I feel. I never think I'm doing anything that different.

"Then, you listen back and you go, 'That doesn't really sound like [Hootie & The Blowfish's debut Billboard Hot 100 top 10] 'Hold My Hand.' ' But, you know, I'm just singing."