“If I Told You” is the eighth No. 1 single for Rucker since his debut in country music in 2008 and comes just a week after another milestone moment for the three-time GRAMMY Award winner, who reached the $1.2 million mark with his yearly kickoff to CMA Fest, the “Darius and Friends” concert and golf tournament to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Friends including Brooks & Dunn, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, John Oates of legendary pop duo Hall & Oates were among those who helped the event reach its record-breaking achievement.
On Wednesday morning Rucker visited TODAY’s Kathie Lee and Hoda at Honky Tonk Central in Nashville, presenting two worthy recipients of new homes through his partnership with Ply Gem and Habitat for Humanity's Home Builders Blitz and serenading the crowd with a performance of “If I Told You.”
“If I Told You” marks Rucker’s first collaboration with producer Ross Copperman. The song was written with Copperman’s co-writers Jon Nite and Shane McAnally.
“I love this time in country music,” Rucker said. “It's so wide in range and to have this song -- a ballad and one I've loved and related to since first hearing the worktape -- is pretty incredible.”
On Wednesday evening the CMT Performance of the Year nominated star helped kick off the awards show as he joined Jason Aldean and Charles Kelley for a rendition of “Midnight Rider” in tribute to Gregg Allman, as well as reprising his role as CMT president for the second year in a skit airing at the top of the show. Acting as CMT president follows a long list of acting accolades Rucker has collected this year, including playing Johnny Bragg, lead singer of the Prisonaires on CMT’s Sun Records and a career criminal on Hawaii Five-0.
Rucker closed out 2017's CMA Music Fest with performances dedicated to the fans that make the week so special, performing at the HGTV Lodge on Sunday morning and Nissan Stadium Sunday evening. In celebration of the imminent No. 1 status of the first offering of his fall 2017 album, Rucker welcomed Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild for a compelling duet of "If I Told You," expressing to the crowd, “Thank you for believing in this song!" The emotional rendition had the crowd on their feet and in tears as Rucker and Fairchild crooned "I'll love you anyway" to each other from either side of the stadium stage.
Rucker’s as-yet-untitled fifth Capitol Records Nashville album will be released later this year with Copperman at the helm. It will be yet another signature moment in the multiplatinum career of one of music’s most beloved figures. Rucker has never been busier while working on his new album with a slate of television appearances this spring and summer that show just how popular he is, including his own CMT Crossroads episode with John Mellencamp. He also appeared in Adam Sandler’s Netflix original, Sandy Wexler, and his own episode of Celebrity Undercover Boss on CBS.