by Marcus K. Dowling
2021 has borne witness to incredible acts of kindness between country’s top artists and the genre’s passionate fanbase. However, legendary “Beers and Sunshine” vocalist Darius Rucker’s most recent act of kindness tugs so hard at your heartstrings that you’ll feel the connective ties that unify humanity emerge.
On March 23rd, Darius Rucker superfan and Rockland County, New York firefighter Jared Lloyd died while fighting a fire at an assisted living facility in Spring Valley, New York. Recently, via a connection created by Audacy Country’s Kelly Ford, Rucker — via Zoom — spoke to the fire company and listened to them share stories about Lloyd. Furthermore, the country performer met Lloyd’s two young sons. Poignantly, the youngest is named Darius, after Rucker.
The most powerful moment of the evening, though, was when Logan—Lloyd’s older son—sang Darius Rucker’s 2013 hit “Wagon Wheel,” joined by the entire company.
Rucker’s kindness is the stuff of legend. In January, while dining at an IHOP restaurant filled with patrons—and noticing that families and children were dining around him—he paid for everyone’s meal there noting to Taste of Country Nights, “I really just thought about the economy and what it is and it’s been a tough year.”
As well, 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. As well, through countless events, he’s supported charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Musicians On Call, PGA Tour Charities, Nashville’s Oasis Center, and more.