Darius Rucker Benefit Concert ‘Darius & Friends’ Raises Over $2.5 Million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

by Joe Rutland

With a little help from friends, Darius Rucker raised more funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at a benefit concert.

Rucker, who has been a supporter of St. Jude’s for a number of years, put together his “Darius & Friends” concert that was held last Tuesday in Nashville. According to a press release, this year’s concert brought in $410,000 that’s earmarked for the world-famous children’s hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

But Darius Rucker has now raised more than $2.5 million for St. Jude’s through his yearly benefit concert. The 12th annual concert was held at the Ryman Auditorium with fans watching through live-stream.

Darius Rucker Recalled First Visit to St. Jude’s Back In 2008

“You see these kids who are sick, and they’re so happy to be there because their caregivers are so loving and giving to them,” Rucker told The Tennessean when looking back on his first St. Jude’s visit in 2008. “And then you find out that nobody ever gets a bill. That blew me away. I was just like, ‘We’ll figure out some way to help you guys as much as I can.'”

On Monday morning, he hosted his annual golf tournament and silent auction before Tuesday night’s concert.

Darius Rucker had some heavyweight country music stars come along and appear with him. They included Jason Aldean, Brothers Osborne, golfer John Daly, Keb’ Mo’, Runaway June, and Elvie Shane.

Golfer Daly, Jason Aldean Among Those Taking Ryman Stage

“I’ve been in this town for 12 years and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people,” Rucker said. “But some people you get to really know and they become family. These guys are family.” Six-time Grammy nominees Brothers Osborne then came out and joined him on the Ryman stage.

Daly joined Rucker for a rendition of Bob Dylan’s song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

Aldean, simply sitting on a stool and being accompanied by one guitar player, sang his three-time Platinum No. 1 hit “Big Green Tractor” and Gold-certified No. 1 hit “Any Ol’ Barstool.”

Darius Rucker himself did not disappoint fans by singing country hits but also “Hootie and the Blowfish” hits, too.

Looking at the history of “Darius & Friends,” there have been a lot of guest appearances over the years. These include 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.

Major sponsors for the concert include The PGA Tour, CDW, Hendrix Enterprises, AMD, Arrow, and Intel. The benefit concert helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude’s for treatment, travel, housing, or food. Rucker has been touched by his involvement with the hospital and country music fans can expect another benefit concert next year.