NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Darius Rucker's conversion to country is now complete: He's joining the Grand Ole Opry. Rucker performed on last night's Opry and received a visit from unannounced guest Brad Paisley, who surprised him with the invitation.

Rucker rose to fame as the frontman for South Carolina rockers Hootie and The Blowfish, but began to pursue his lifelong passion for country music a few years ago. He will release his third country album early next year.

The 46-year-old is the third black performer to hold Opry membership, joining Country Music Hall of Fame members DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride. Rucker will be inducted into the Opry on Oct. 16. That show will air live on GAC.