After pledging his support for over 15 years, Darius Rucker has raised more than $3 million for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During his 13th annual "Darius & Friends" benefit concert this year, the singer raised a record-setting $516,000 as he brought together a crowd in Nashville, Tennessee at the Ryman Auditorium.
The Grammy-winner recalled his first visit to St. Jude in 2008, stating, "I'm talking to one administrator and she said, 'when you bring your kid to St. Jude, we fly you in, we put you up, we feed you and we never send you a bill.' I started talking to people there and it's true. That day I said, I want to do something to help. I'm doing this for St. Jude - thank you guys for coming out!"
The event is now a tradition for the country music singer, serving as the unofficial kickoff to the highly successful CMA Fest every summer. The benefit concert is known for its A-lister lineup. Performing more than 30 songs and covers, Rucker was joined by Sheryl Crow, Sara Evans, Rachel Wammack, Caylee Hammack and Lindsay Ell.
This year the benefit quickly sold out and there was an additional auction that raised more than $103,000 where audience members could bid thousands for meet-and-greets, seat upgrades and signed guitars.
After the auction and donation round, which raised a total of $103,341, the concert featured a very special performance by Addie, a St. Jude cancer survivor who was diagnosed with leukemia at only 15-years-old and has been in remission for a total of 5 years. Addie received a standing ovation for her wonderful rendition of the Greatest Showman's "Never Be Enough."
Throughout the years, "Darius & Friends" has featured several guest performers, including Jason Aldean, Brothers Osborne, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Ashley McBryde, Backstreet Boys, Kenny Rogers, Brad Paisley, John Daly, Charles Kelley and more.
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