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Rucker invited to join Opry


Darius Rucker’s conversion to country is now complete: He’s joining the Grand Ole Opry.

Rucker performed on Tuesday night’s Opry and received a visit from unannounced guest Brad Paisley, who surprised him with the invitation.

The singer rose to fame as the frontman for South Carolina rockers Hootie & the Blowfish but began to pursue his lifelong passion for country music a few years ago.

The 46-year-old is the third black performer to hold Opry membership.

Rucker will be inducted into the Opry on Oct. 16. That show will air live on GAC.

Novel selling well

Sales for J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel were hardly magical during its first six days. But the publisher isn’t complaining.

Little, Brown and Co. announced Wednesday that “The Casual Vacancy” has sold 375,000 copies so far, a figure which includes hardcovers, e-books and audio books.

That makes Rowling’s novel among the fastest-selling new releases of the year, although not in the same league as her Potter books. The last Potter, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” came out in 2007 and sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S. alone in its first 24 hours.

Brooks ends run

Garth Brooks is ending his run in Las Vegas.

The country music superstar will play six more dates this fall at Wynn Las Vegas, concluding the three-year run Nov. 16 and 17.

Brooks slipped out of retirement to take the gig in 2009.

Brooks, 50, will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct. 21 in Nashville, Tenn.

1st-date doníts?

Are you single and dating? Then you probably have established a few deal breakers for the first date. Send in your top deal breakers to Jaclyn Youhana, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, or email by Oct. 14. Please include your full name, city of residence and a phone number you can be contacted.

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Author Jackie Collins is 75. Author Anne Rice is 71. Actress Lori Saunders is 71. Actress Susan Sarandon is 66. Actor Armand Assante is 63. Actor Bill Fagerbakke is 55. Rap producer Russell Simmons is 55. Singer Jon Secada is 51. Actor Liev Schreiber is 45. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 36. Actress Rachel Leigh Cook is 33.