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Darius Rucker: Eric Church Is the Closest We’ve Got to Waylon and Willie

Darius Rucker, Eric Church
Ethan Miller / Rick Diamond, Getty Images

While he’s not one himself, Darius Rucker knows who country’s bad boys are! According to the ‘Wagon Wheel’ hitmaker, Eric Church and Luke Bryan are the new outlaws of country music — like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson before them.

Of course, Rucker playfully admits that he’s as vanilla as it comes, thanks in part to his to Hootie & the Blowfish fame.

“I’m always going to be country-lite, there’s nothing I can do about that,” the singer tells radio host Dan Patrick. “Brad [Paisley]‘s not a bad boy. Rascal Flatts, they’re not bad boys. Not everyone can be a bad boy. You know, that’s cool.”

But Rucker says that there’s definitely still a demand for outlaws like Nelson and Jennings, who spent most of the ’70s shaking up the country music scene with a tougher sound and refusal to let big studios control their music. And according to Rucker, we’ve found those bad boys in the likes of Bryan and, more obviously, Church.

“Yeah man, we’ve still got those guys,” the singer assures. “Like you said, Luke and Eric. Eric’s probably the closest we got to Waylon and Willie, I think.”

It’s no surprise the Rucker has pegged Church as a rebel, since pretty much everyone else has too … including Church himself. But the country rocker’s hell-raising tendencies have paid off. His newest record, aptly titled ‘The Outsiders,’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Next: Watch a Hilarious Burger King Commercial With Darius Rucker

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