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Darius Rucker and Friends Share a Stage for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital [Pictures]

Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Performances from Kenny Rogers and Corey Smith, a surprise from one-third of Lady Antebellum, and an all-star version of ‘Wagon Wheel’ were amongst the many highlights at Darius Rucker’s fifth annual charity concert for St. Jude on Monday night (June 2).

‘Darius and Friends’ took place at the Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Ave. The near-capacity crowd knew the lineup ahead of time — well, they knew most of it. Nobody expected Lady A’s Charles Kelley to take the stage, joining Rucker for Hootie and the Blowfish’s ‘Hold My Hand.’

Immediately afterward the crowd stood for Rogers. The Country Music Hall of Famer carried his bum knee to the center of the stage, but seemed to forget all about the pain as he performed ‘The Gambler’ solo, and ‘Lucille’ with the event’s namesake. Earlier Rogers shared why he agreed to do the show.

“He’s a good guy, he’s one of the good guys,” he told Taste of Country. “I’m so excited and happy for him.”

Perhaps Smith had the night’s most impressive mini-set. The ’21’ singer played two of his own songs, before joining Rucker — a recent tour mate — for Hootie’s ‘Let Her Cry.’ Those not familiar with Smith may have been wary at first, but the Georgia native nailed it. He was one of several stars who before the concert admitted the ‘Cracked Rear View’ album was — or still is — an active part of their music collection. Smith joked that people used to tell him he sounded like “Hootie.”

David Nail, Cassadee Pope and Thompson Square also performed their own songs, as well as a cover. Pope sang ‘Jackson’ with Rucker, while Thompson Square played a song they said inspired troops during a recent run of shows for the military. Tom Petty’s ‘Won’t Back Down’ didn’t disappoint on this night either.

See photos from the event below. The total raised for St. Jude has not been released yet. Storme Warren from SiriusXM’s The Highway was the evening’s host.

Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Darius Rucker Friends
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

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