Darius Rucker has a lot of friends. Put them all together and they can do amazing things. Like raise more than $220,000 for childhood cancer and other life threatening diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Rucker and a handful of today’s top country music stars spent Monday night putting on the sold-out sixth annual “Darius and Friends” benefit concert at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, then hit the course Tuesday for the Celebrity Tee-Off sponsored by State Water Heaters. The two-day total is almost two times as much as the record $120,000 Rucker earned last year and brings the annual benefit’s total contribution to St. Jude to $660,000.
Rucker was an active master of ceremonies at the Wildhorse, performing his own set of hits and joining every invited star – the lineup included Little Big Town, Brett Eldredge, A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne, Scotty McCreery and Steve Wariner – on stage at some point. He stretched his instantly recognizable baritone voice in every direction through a night that included – but was not limited to – a set heavy with songs from his latest No. 1 album, Southern Style. He also brought out a horn section so he and new friend Eldredge could explore their mutual love of Frank Sinatra with covers of “Come Fly With Me” and “That’s Life.”
The South Carolina singer started to show off when he joined A Thousand Horses for a cover of the Black Crowes’ “Hard to Handle” and joined Wariner on the Beatles’ “Get Back.” Rucker finished the night with his now-standard cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” a song written for a club just like the Wildhorse.
Eldredge and the guys in A Thousand Horses – both opening on Rucker’s Southern Style Tour – and McCreery woke up early Tuesday for their tee times, joining Vince Gill, Eric Paslay, JT Hodges, Jon Pardi, Joe Nichols, Cole Swindell, David Nail, Dustin Lynch, James Otto and Jana Kramer on the links.
“Darius and Friends” is sponsored by State Water Heaters, Intel, CDW, Two Bits and Humdingers.
For more information about Darius Rucker or to buy tickets for the Southern Style Tour, please visit www.DariusRucker.comand follow @dariusrucker at Twitter.