Last summer (June 3), the 10th annual Darius and Friends benefit concert, charity golf tournament and auction upped the total funds raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by country star Darius Rucker to over $2 million. The 2019 event raised over $425,000 on its own, a single-year record.
The children's hospital fundraising event, an unofficial kick-off for CMA Fest, has been hosted at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee for the past three years. In 2019, more than 2,400 fans enjoyed a stacked country music lineup: Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Travis Denning and Brett Young.
"I was struck on that first visit by how St. Jude not only cares for their patients, but also their patients' families," said Rucker in a press release. "They believe that a financial burden is the last thing a family should face when their focus needs to be on helping a kid get better, and St. Jude makes sure that their patients never pay a dime. It's an honor for us to be able to help them continue such an important mission."
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Rucker is a longtime supporter of St. Jude and even recorded a song inspired by a St. Jude patient.
Per the St. Jude website, the non-profit "is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
It was a busy year for Rucker, with his famous rock band Hootie & The Blowfish reuniting for a string of summer and fall dates, including a visit to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The band also released it's first new album in 15 years, Imperfect Circle. The "Wagon Wheel" singer also joined Blake Shelton's team on The Voice.
This article was originally published in June of 2019.