Brooks & Dunn made a surprise appearance to become part of the all-star cast during Darius Rucker’s eighth annual “Darius and Friends” benefit concert Monday night (June 5) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
Dan + Shay, Luke Combs, Michael Ray, Hall & Oates’ singer-guitarist John Oates and KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer were among those performing at the concert that capped an auction and golf tournament that raised $402,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This week’s events brings the cumulative total raised for all years to $1.2 million.
During the concert’s first year at the Ryman, Rucker joined Brooks & Dunn for “Red Dirt Road” and followed it up with “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” before the duo returned to the nearby Bridgestone Arena to watch the Nashville Predators defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Earlier in the day, Combs celebrate the success of his No. 1 single “Hurricane” with his debut appearance on NBC’s Today before heading to the charity event.
Ray sang his hit “Kiss You in the Morning” before joining Rucker on a cover of Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen.”
During his performance segment with Thayer on the KISS anthem “Dr. Love,” Rucker expressed his love of the iconic rock band.
“When I was a kid, I would stack up cans of corn and peas and put a flashlight on top, grab a broom and sing KISS songs until my mother made me stop,” Rucker told the crowd.
Likewise, Rucker recalled another childhood memory when Oates joined him to perform Hall & Oates’ 1976 hit, “Sara Smile.”
“I had a girlfriend in the fifth grade and I loved her,” Rucker said. “She moved to Florida, and my sister used to make fun of me because I was crying about it. And I would go in my room and sing this song for hours because it made me feel better.”