South Carolina native Darius Rucker decided this round's on me, with the round in question being IHOP's world-class coffee instead of adult beverages, during a Sunday morning (Jan. 24) stop at one of the chain's restaurants in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Per local outlet WCSC, Rucker secretly asked general manager Stephen Vitale if he could cover everyone in the crowded restaurant's bill.
"It was a full restaurant," Vitale told WCSC. "There were a lot of people. I added it up and he paid."
The Grammy award winner and "Alright" singer also left what Vitale described as a "very generous" tip for the restaurant's staff.
"It was a good morning at IHOP," Vitale added.
Rucker's a regular at the Lowcountry restaurant, which is less than half an hour from his hometown of Charleston. Lucky diners likely didn't notice Rucker at first, as he was wearing a mask due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic precautions. Or at least they didn't know that Hootie was in the house before they all scored a free meal.
Vitale told ABC News 4 (WCIV) that several beneficiaries of Rucker's kindness thanked the singer personally.
Rucker has since shared that he was simply trying to help families in economically challenging times, and he had no idea that his good deed would make headlines.
"I was just looking around ... and there was just a bunch of families, a bunch of kids," he shared with Taste of Country Nights (as quoted by The Boot). "I really just thought about the economy and what it is and it's been a tough year, and I was walking out and saw my friends that I see all the time when I'm in there, and I said, 'Hey, man, how long will it take you to calculate everybody's check.' He said, 'About a minute.' I did it -- I tipped the waitstaff and I left. I just didn't think it was going to be newsworthy."
Rucker's become one of the more visible country stars in the mainstream, co-hosting the 2020 CMA Awards with Reba McEntire and inviting Lady A to join the Grand Ole Opry during a segment for a yet-to-air NBC special.