St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is one of the biggest nonprofits in the U.S., serving thousands of sick children and their families at no cost to them. Country music has a longstanding relationship with the organization, and just one of those enthusiastic partners is Darius Rucker.

The country star was first introduced to St. Jude in 2010 while on tour with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. He and Bentley made a stop at the hospital one day, where he fell in love with the mission and patients.

"I was just so moved by everybody," Rucker says about his first visit to St. Jude. "I was moved by the doctors and the administrators and the kids of course who were all running around, trying to get better, but trying to be as happy as they can be."

When he found out how much it costs to run the hospital each day and that the families never receive a bill from St. Jude, he knew he wanted to step in and help. The Darius and Friends annual concert kicked off in 2010 and has included performers like Little Big TownBrett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne among many more, benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital each year.

"Country music is a family that loves to give back, and I think we all see what amazing things they do at St. Jude," Rucker says. "Getting people to come play my Darius and Friends Show was so easy because it's for St. Jude and that's a great thing. That's another reason I love being a part of the country music family."

While stars often appear at the hospital to help cheer up the sick patients and their families, Rucker says that the children are the ones that bring a smile to his face.

"For me, it's just so many," he says about the patients that have impacted him. "Every time I've been there, that's what it's about. So many kids that I've met over the years, they're all so special and they all seem to be so happy. That's what it was for me."

The singer's message who already give to the organization is a simple one.

"Keep giving," he encourages. "It's an amazing place that does amazing things. It's just an uplifting, empowering thing to be a part of and I just really love being a part of it."

On Feb. 16-17, Taste of Country will join 15 Townsquare Media stations in support of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This two-day web and radiothon aims to raise money and awareness for the world class research and treatment facility in Memphis, Tenn. Now in its fourth year, this collaborative effort has raised nearly $3.9 million. Country radio has helped raise more than $550 million during 27 years worth of Country Cares radiothons. The mission is simple: raise money, save lives.

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