Darius Rucker on Beyoncé's impact, lingering racism in country music in Chris Wallace clip

Country music star Darius Rucker is giving Beyoncé Knowles Carter her flowers for her latest album, "Cowboy Carter," and the impact it is having on country music.

The Hootie & the Blowfish frontman appears in the upcoming episode of "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace" on Max, where he is asked his thoughts on the 27-track project and the impression it made on country music and inclusivity of the genre.

In the exclusive clip provided to USA TODAY Network, Rucker says the album was "Huge. It was so big. I mean, I can't express enough how big what she did was because she brought so many eyes to the to the genre."

Darius Rucker performs during the 15th annual Darius and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital held at the Ryman Auditorium Monday, June 3, 2024.
Darius Rucker performs during the 15th annual Darius and Friends benefit concert for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital held at the Ryman Auditorium Monday, June 3, 2024.

"One of the things I love about what Beyoncé did is when I started making country music and having hits, I'd have African American women and men come up to me and go 'I love country music. I could never say it until now you're playing and I can say it. And she brought I think even more eyes to the to the genre and more people looking at it and more Black people going alright man, 'I like country music.' I always say I want country music to look more like America and I think she did a lot to make it go that way," he said.

Of course, Rucker made a name for himself in the '90s and has become an extremely influential country artist. His successful career included a No. 1 hit and an invitation into the Grand Ole Opry in 2012, which made him the first Black artist to join since 1993 and the second Black artist inducted ever.

While Beyoncé has also recently made huge strides, Rucker acknowledged that the stigma of rebel flags and and racism is still prevalent within the genre, saying "It's still around... you still see it some places and I don't think that's ever going to go away... It's still there. It's not as prevalent as it was. It's not, it's not the majority of country music, but it's still there." He added, "It's still there because it's still in America."

As fans know,  the "Ya Ya" singer released her highly acclaimed album, "Cowboy Carter," on March 29 and has already made history and broken multiple records.

Prior to sharing the album the rest of the world, Beyoncé opened up about creating the 5-year project and alluded to her 2016 performance at the Country Music Awards (CMAs).

In a post on Instagram, she wrote: "This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive."

"It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history," she wrote. "The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. Act ii is a result of challenging myself and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work."

New episodes of Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? stream Fridays on Max.

Follow Caché McClay, the USA TODAY Network's Beyoncé Knowles-Carter reporter, on InstagramTikTok and X as @cachemcclay.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Darius Rucker talks Beyoncé and her impact on country music