Singer Darius Rucker had no idea his plans to cover Straight to Hell would become an all-star country collaboration after sitting on the project for 10 years.
The Hootie & the Blowfish frontman, who went country in 2008, recruited his pals Charles Kelley, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan to bring the rowdy Drivin' N Cryin' rock tune to life, and they performed the single live for the first time as they closed out the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday night (06Jun18).
The foursome also have a ball in the accompanying video, and Darius is still amazed at how it all came together, insisting he has Lady Antebellum's Kelley to thank for giving him a nudge to include it on his 2017 release, When Was the Last Time.
"I'd been meaning to cut that song ever since I came to Nashville...," he told Billboard.com. "It was one of those karma things where I was putting my album together and Charles Kelley calls me out of the blue, texts me... 'I think you should cut it' and I'm like, 'I've been thinking about cutting that song... The universe is telling me to cut it.'"
"He got back to me, 'Yeah, you should let me sing on it, too,'" Darius recalled. "And so we started there, and then hanging out with Luke and Jason, the four of us are pretty good friends, (it just evolved). Knowing what it meant to all those guys, too... It's a fun song. I'm really proud of it."