Nashville, TN

Darius Rucker surpasses $2.5 million marks in donation for St. Jude

Kelleigh Michanichou

NASHVILLE, TN - Darius Rucker surpass $2.5 million marks in fundraising efforts with this year’s 12th annual “Darius & Friends” benefit concert on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The event raised over $410,000, with a sold-out attendance in the historic Ryman Auditorium and at-home fan watching via the Mandolin live broadcast.

It has been 15 years since his initial visit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital which inspired him to support people in need. He spoke to the Tennessean on his first visit to the hospital in 2008 ahead of this year's event. Rucker noted that the sick kids in the hospital were treated lovingly by their caregivers, despite nobody paid their bills.

The initiative has now become an annual tradition, more than a decade later. The benefit concert serves as an unofficial beginning to CMA Fest as fans gather on Music City. The event was held virtually in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The live broadcast was still in place this year, allowing fans at home to watch alongside the sold-out audience. Surprise guests from this year's edition included Jason Aldean, Brothers Osborne, John Daly, Keb' Mo', Runaway June, and Elvie Shane.

Rucker opened the music festival with his Platinum-certified "This" and "For the First Time," followed by the current single "My Masterpiece".

This year's fundraising event adds to “Darius & Friends” illustrious career of more than a decade. Lauren Alaina, Brooks & Dunn, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Ashley McBryde, A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys, Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, and Paul Stanley of KISS are just a few of the previous guests.

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