Darius Rucker has one of the most instantly recognizable voices in country music, and he’s also known as one of music’s most selfless artists.
The “Beers and Sunshine” singer recently lived up to that reputation again, when he surprised patrons at an IHOP restaurant in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with a free meal on Sunday (Jan. 24), and also left the servers a large tip.
According to WCSC-TV, employees at the IHOP location consider the three-time Grammy winner a regular customer. The restaurant’s manager Stephen Vitale said that Rucker approached him after dining at the restaurant and inquired about paying for the meals of everyone dining in the restaurant.
"It was a full restaurant," Vitale said. "There were a lot of people. I added it up and he paid." Rucker left a generous tip for the servers, though Vitale declined to specify the amount.
“We know him because he does come in quite often and we consider him a regular,” Vitale said, noting that most people in the restaurant did not recognize Rucker because he was wearing a mask, though some people who did recognize the music star thanked him for his generosity.
“It was a good morning at IHOP,” Vitale added.
Rucker has long been known for giving back. Earlier this week, he surprised country trio Lady A with an invitation to become members of the Grand Ole Opry (the trio was invited and inducted during the same evening). Lady A provided background harmonies on Rucker’s 2013 smash “Wagon Wheel,” which has been certified 8x multi-Platinum, earned Rucker a Grammy, and was nominated for the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year honor.
In 2018, Rucker was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award, which honors an artist or industry professional for their commitment to serving others. Throughout his career, when he hasn’t been notching chart-topping hits as part of Hootie & The Blowfish or as a solo artist, Rucker has dedicated time and resources to help children and support educational causes.
His annual “Darius & Friends” all-star tournaments and concerts have raised more than $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Rucker’s Homegrown Concert Series raises money to purchase school supplies for kids attending Charleston County Schools. He has also supported charities including Musicians On Call, PGA Tour Charities, Nashville’s Oasis Center, and more.