He released a solo R&B album, Back to Then in 2002 on Hidden Beach Recordings but no singles from it charted. Six years later, Rucker signed to Capitol Nashville as a country music singer, releasing the album, Learn to Live that year. Its first single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", made him the first black artist to reach number one on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride in 1983. (Ray Charles hit number one in March 1985 in a duet with Willie Nelson with "Seven Spanish Angels". ) It was followed by two more number one singles, "It Won't Be Like This for Long" and "Alright" and the number three hit "History in the Making". In 2009, he became the first black American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association, and the second black person to win any award from the association. A second album, Charleston, SC 1966, was released on October 12, 2010. The album includes the number one singles, "Come Back Song" and "This". His third Country album True Believers (2013) reach No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the US Top Country Albums Billboard chart with singles True Believers (#24), Wagon Wheel (#1), and Radio (#14), all charting on the Billboard U. S. Country charts. His first Country Christmas album, Home for the Holidays (2014) reached No. 31 on the US Billboard 200 chart and No. 7 on the US Country Chart. His fourth Country album, Southern Style (2014) reached No. 6 (US Billboard 200) and No. 7 (Billboard US Top Country Albums), respectively with singles Homegrown Honey (#6) and Southern Style (#8) both charting on the U. S. Country charts in 2014 and 2015. His most recent Country album When Was the Last Time (2017) charted #8 on the US Billboard 200 and #2 on the US Top Country Albums (Billboard).