THE COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION PRESENTS DARIUS RUCKER
WITH 2023 CMA FOUNDATION HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Watch Kelly Clarkson Surprise Darius Rucker HERE
The Country Music Association awarded Country Music superstar Darius Rucker the CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award during a visit to “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” Rucker was presented the award in a surprise announcement from Clarkson during his visit to the show yesterday, Oct. 23, where he spoke about his late mother Carolyn Rucker and explained how the namesake of his new album, Carolyn’s Boy, directly inspired his passion for giving back.
“When I was a kid, she instilled in us that you help people—not people that are less fortunate; you help people that need help,” Rucker shared with Clarkson of one of his mom’s greatest lessons, also noting, “We grew up in a really poor neighborhood with not much and, you know, there was no reason for me to believe that I was gonna be here and make it. But she always instilled in me ‘believe in yourself, you can do whatever you want.’”
The CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual who has served as a humanitarian through community leadership, financial support, personal volunteerism, and advocacy. The individual honored has evidenced commitment to worthwhile causes that are important to the Country Music Association and the Country Music community.
Rucker pledged his support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after an inspiring firsthand visit 15 years ago and, as a result, created the “Darius and Friends” charity auction, golf tournament and concert in 2010. Taking place each year in the days leading into CMA Fest, friends performing with Rucker in past years have included Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Ashley McBryde, A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys, Brad Paisley and Kenny Rogers, among others. The event has now surpassed the $3.6 million mark, raising funds to benefit the research hospital leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Rucker also co-chaired the capital campaign that generated $150 million to help build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in his hometown of Charleston, SC—an effort directly inspired by his mom’s career as a MUSC nurse—and has advocated for over 200 charitable causes supporting public education and junior golf programs in South Carolina through the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation while also serving as a National Chair for the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville. Rucker is a four-time CMA Awards nominee, taking home the CMA New Artist of the Year honor in 2009. For more information, visit DariusRucker.com.
About the Country Music Association
Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. Music industry professionals and companies across the U.S. and around the globe are members of CMA. The organization serves as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advances the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; CMA Fest, which benefits the CMA Foundation and music education and is taped for a three-hour network television special, “CMA Fest”; and “CMA Country Christmas.” All of CMA’s television properties air on ABC.
About Darius Rucker
Rucker first achieved multi-Platinum status in the music industry as lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the GRAMMY Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish, who have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide including their double Diamond-certified (21x Platinum) debut Cracked Rear View, which remains among the top 10 best-selling studio albums of all time. Since releasing his first Country album in 2008, Rucker has earned a whole new legion of fans with four No. 1 albums on the Billboard Country chart, including RIAA Platinum-certified Learn to Live and True Believers, plus 10 No. 1 singles at Country radio and 11 Gold, Platinum or multi-Platinum-certified hits. Rucker was inducted as a Grand Ole Opry member in 2012 and in 2014 he won his third career GRAMMY Award for Best Solo Country Performance with his Diamond-certified (11x Platinum) version of “Wagon Wheel,” one of the top five best-selling Country songs of all time. He topped the charts at Country radio once again with “Beers And Sunshine” in 2021 and his brand new album Carolyn’s Boy, featuring his latest single, “Fires Don’t Start Themselves,” is available everywhere now.