Published on August 12th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann0
North Charleston Celebrates Darius Rucker’s Success and Philanthropy
The entrance road off of International Boulevard on the north side of the North Charleston Coliseum is now officially named “Darius Rucker Boulevard.”
In a casual breakfast ceremony in the Montague Terrace (above the main entrance to the North Charleston Coliseum), a group of fans, family, and supporters turned out to watch Charleston-based country singer/songwriter Darius Rucker hang out with radio personalities from local station WEZL 103.5 FM and North Charleston city officials. The event was broadcast live on WEZL from 6-10 a.m. this morning.
North Charleston mayor Keith Summey also proclaimed that August 12 will forever be known as “Darius Rucker Day” in the city of North Charleston.
“You have not forgotten where you came from, and you come home, and you give directly back to the community,” Summey told Rucker on stage during the dedication ceremony. “This is to recognize your success … you and your wife and your entire family. To recognize you even more for who you are, and what you are, what you mean to this community, and your service giving back — and not forgetting that you’re a homegrown guy.”
WEZL morning show cohosts TJ Phillips and Ric Rush were on stage with Rucker as well. Phillips and Rush were instrumental in getting the ball rolling earlier this year with the rechristening of the road. After promoting the idea on the show in the spring, the duo got a call from Summey, who loved the idea.
“We looked into it, and I thought the entry to the Coliseum would be ideal,” Summey told Metronome Charleston. “Now, not only every person who comes to shows will see it, but every performer who comes to town will see that we honor people like this.”
Rucker initially gained fame as the frontman for the Columbia-based alt-rock group Hootie and the Blowfish. Over the last six years, he reestablished his career as country singer/songwriter. He released his third solo country album True Believers last year.
Rucker grew up in West Ashley, attending the old Middleton High School before heading to the University of South Carolina in 1986. He currently resides in the Mt. Pleasant area.
As a solo artist, Rucker has supported such charities as ACM Lifting Lives, the ANNIKA Foundation, and the Fisher House Foundation. With Hootie, Rucker and his bandmates have made an annual tradition out of raising funds, awareness, and school supplies through the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation (established in 2000 as a private non-profit organization). Hootie and the Blowfish will return to the Family Circle Magazine Stadium on Aug. 23-24 for their 11th annual Homegrown Concerts.
“I never would have imagined that anyone would ever name a street after me,” Rucker told Metronome Charleston after the ceremony today. “You know, I live in the Charleston area because I want to. It’s a great city to live in, and I’m proud that people actually recognize for the things I try to do. We don’t go out and try to bang the drums and pound it out. We just do it. It’s really great that people are noticing it. What a recognition.”
Mayor Summey, who admits he’s more of country fan than a rock ‘n’ roll fan, told Metronome Charleston, “I feel very proud today. Not only is Darius a world renowned entertainer, but he comes home and gives back. That’s very unusual to see that happen. A lot of times, when people become so successful, they lose their grounding. Darius has not done that, and I’m sure his wife Beth has a lot to do with that.”
“Darius has done so much for the greater Charleston area, so we thought we should do something like this while he can enjoy it and his children and wife can enjoy it,” Summey added. “His name will go on forever as someone that contributed to this area and to the music business as well.”
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