Darius Rucker Opens Up About Collaborating With Jennifer Nettles On ‘Never Been Over’

“Jennifer is taking it to a new level. I mean I couldn’t have asked for anything better than that,” Rucker shared.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 26, 2024


10:31 am

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Darius Rucker reimagines “Never Been Over” with Jennifer Nettles

Darius Rucker unveils a brand-new collaborative version of his song, “Never Been Over” with added vocals by Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles

The original version of the tune appears on Rucker’s first solo project in 6 years, Carolyn’s Boy, which dropped on October 6, 2023 and is named after late mother. While speaking about the re-recorded track with Country Now and other media outlets, the Charleston, South Carolina native revealed that “Never Been Over” was always in talks of being a duet. He and his co-writers, John Osborne of Brothers Osborne and Lee Thomas Miller, had discussed potential artists to feature on the track that would make it that much more special and eventually, Nettles became the perfect fit to take it to the next level.

“I wanted it to be a duet. We were in a meeting talking about a lot of stuff like who could do it and somebody said Jennifer Nettles and the room stopped. I was just like, let’s call her. If she says yes, don’t call anybody else,” Rucker recalled.

Darius Rucker, Jennifer Nettles; Never Been Over
Darius Rucker, Jennifer Nettles; Never Been Over

The Lyrics Paint A Picture Of An Emotional Journey Between A Longtime Couple

Since being released to the public, the song’s narrative centered around a longtime couple has been interpreted in many different ways, according to Rucker. He explained that some see it as a love song while others hear a breakup song within the lyrics.

“It’s pretty funny that everybody’s getting different things about it, but it was just a song,” he explained. “The ‘Never Been Over’ hook was just, no one had ever written that. You look it up to see if anybody’s written that title and nobody had…for me, it was so therapeutic to write that song.”

He added that because it evokes such deep emotions every time he sings it on stage, he deems it to be one of his most personal writes to date.

Bringing Nettles on the re-recorded edition of the song offers a breath of fresh air within the heartfelt story as it makes room for a whole new perspective on the journey between the two characters who have been through a lot in their relationship, but always seem find a way to make things work amid all the trials and tribulations they have faced. 

“But we’ve never been splittin’ up friends/ Splittin’ up records/ Puttin’ up walls/ Burnin’ down letters/ Grass is greener/ ‘Cause there’s something better/ Waitin’ down the line/ We’ve never been a headlights weavin’/ Taillights fadin’/ So long, move on/ Goodbye waitin’/ Never been one last long look across your shoulder/ We’ve been a lot of things/ But we’ve never been over,” the country stars sing amid the calming guitar strums.

YouTube video

The duet version of “Never Been Over” is out now and will be shipped to country radio on May 6 with a May 20 add date.

A Music Video Between The Country Music Stars Could Be On The Horizon

Rucker teased that his work with Nettles may not end there, because he is hopeful that the two will join forces once again to film the song’s official music video. 

“I think we’re all going to make a video. Jennifer’s in for whatever we want to do. So I’m sure we’re going to figure out a time to make a video,” he shared. “That’s the one thing when she sent it back to us and they sent it to me, that was the first thing I thought. This is one of those throwback old school duets and she created such magic at the end of that song and every time I hear it, I get chills. And just for me, another one of those things, I’m just so honored to be a part of it. But then I think it’s my song. I wrote this with these guys and Jennifer is taking it to a new level. I mean I couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.”

Darius Rucker - Life's Too Short; Courtesy of Dey Street Books
Darius Rucker – Life’s Too Short; Courtesy of Dey Street Books

New Memoir And Touring With Hootie & The Blowfish

Darius Rucker is also preparing to drop his new memoir, “Life’s Too Short,” on May 28, 2024 via Dey Street Books. This collection of stories is expected to give fans an unfiltered look into the country star’s life journey and the music that has guided him along the way. 

In addition to working on his latest release and his new memoir, Rucker will reunite with his longtime bandmates of Hootie & The Blowfish for their upcoming tour, Summer Camp With Trucks. The trek kicks off May 30 in Dallas, TX and includes stops in major markets throughout the country before wrapping up in West Palm Beach, FL on September 28. 

“We’re a family. We’re like brothers who don’t see each other very much and as soon as we get back in the same room, we all fall back into the same hierarchy that we’ve had our whole 40 years of being a band,” Rucker shared as he reflected on the fact that after all these years, the band still gets the chance to share the stage from time to time. 

“We fall back into the same not funny jokes and the same things that we do all the time. It’s just like four guys that have known each other our whole lives,” he continued. “We have so much respect for each other and it’s always positive, it’s always good, it’s always upbeat and we figured we got one summer together. There’s no need to be fighting and doing the stupid stuff.”

The Starting Fires UK Tour Kicks Off This Weekend

The Grand Ole Opry member is currently making his way overseas for the next leg of his headline run, The Starting Fires UK Tour. This stint of shows launches on April 27 in Manchester and features performances in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland before returning to the U.S. in May for a slew of dates throughout the summer. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.