Former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker won "Best Black" at the Country Music and TV Awards last night. Despite being the only nominee in the category, Rucker was grateful in his acceptance speech, even tearing up.
"I paid my dues getting here," said Rucker. "If there's any advice I have for blacks coming up behind me it's to try to go with the flow. Sure, the first time you get invited to the CMT Awards, Garth Brooks will toss his keys at you and tell you there's a little something extra if his car still smells the same when he gets back. But if you just lay down plastic on the seat before parking it, you'll be fine."
Many of the other winners seemed defensive about the perception that "Best Black" is somehow racist. "Five years ago, we didn't even let blacks out of the kitchen at this thing," said winner Carrie Underwood, "and now they've got their own award. We even let Hootie do an interview while his dishwashing station went unmanned for a full fifteen minutes."