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Darius Rucker’s Annual Concert Raises More Than $500,000 For St. Jude Children’s Hospital


Vince Gill, Jake Owen, Jelly Roll, and others joined him for sold-out Nashville show.
His “Darius and Friends” concert has become an annual tradition. Now in its 14th year, it’s the unofficial kick-off to the CMA Fest, which draws hundreds of thousands of fans to Nashville to see country music’s biggest stars hold meet-and-greets and perform on a variety of stages downtown.
And some of those big stars show up earlier in the week to join Darius Rucker on stage at the Ryman.
Every year, he invites some of his famous friends to join him the Monday before CMA Fest, to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. In previous years, he’s released the guest lineup ahead of time, but not anymore. Now, those who buy tickets do it without knowing who’ll perform until the night of the show. A grateful Rucker said, “We don’t even announce who’s on anymore and it still sells out.”
His fans know he’ll deliver. The packed house went wild with the announcement of this year’s performers: Vince Gill, Jake Owen, Megan Moroney, Jelly Roll, and HARDY.
For nearly three hours, in the cozy, intimate setting of the historic Ryman Auditorium, Rucker hosted a dynamic night of music.
For his first set, he sang “Alright, “Radio,” and “Southern State of Mind,” then brought out his first guest.
He introduced Jake Owen as “a great guy, great golfer, and I love being around him.” Then, he jokingly added, “And he’s so damn pretty!”
Owen, who sang “Down to the Honkytonk,” “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” and a cover of Hank Williams Jr’s “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” noted that since Rucker said some nice things about him, he’d do the same.

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