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Congrats to Darius Rucker on 5 years as an Opry Member

On Wednesday September 22nd, 2017, Darius Rucker celebrated the 5th anniversary of his induction as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It's a dream that little 10 year old Darius, listening to the classics of Charley Pride while his mother would try and introduce him to Al Green, could never have imagined.

It was a special night at the Opry, with superstar performances by legends as well as up and comers. Carly Pearce took the stage at 8:15 to perform CRANKIN performances of the hit singles from her upcoming album "If My Name Was Whiskey" and "Every Little Thing". It was truly a special thing to witness the depth her talent performing for a full house at the Opry before her debut album has even been released. It made me believe that she will definitely be an artist that will be around for some time. Following her performance was Opry mainstay, Vince Gill.

Vince came onto the stage joking, "I didn't know they doing this Opry thing on Wednesday nights now. I actually was just in the neighborhood and they said Darius was playing and asked if I wanted to do a couple songs." The way that Vince plays at the Opry is truly magical. Never before have I seen a performer so comfortable and perfectly in his element on stage. With absolutely zero to prove to the audience, Vince laid into mellow grooves that highlighted his beautiful voice. A short set, Vince only played three songs, but the way he closed the set was truly special. He brought up the recent loss of his friend Troy Gentry and played his last song in honor of him. He told the audience that it was Troy's favorite song ever written and he used to always sing it to his wife. With that, he launched into a beautiful, emotionally charged rendition of his class, "Whenever You Come Around".

With a quick turn of the stage, Darius was on. He began the show with a fiery performance of his first country hit, "Alright", with the crowd singing along to every line. Darius, always the personable one, chatted cheerfully with the audience, joking, "I need to fire whoever it was that decided to put me on after Vince Gill." Next was the first track off of his hit record Charleston, SC 1966, "This" which he said was about his career switch to country music. Next, was another poignant tribute to Troy Gentry with what Darius said was the first country song he ever wrote. It was a beautiful version of the Hootie & the Blowfish hit "Let Her Cry". The performance saw the audience all turning on the lights of their phone (as asked by the program director) to light up the room. Following that was a performance of Rucker's latest single "For the First Time" from his upcoming album When Was the Last Time. He closed with a crowd favorite of his monumental rendition of the Old Crow and the Medicine Show tune "Wagon Wheel".

It was truly a special night, and as a Charleston boy, it warmed my heart to see my hometown hero get all of the respect and accolades he deserves from the Opry. Here's to another 5 years of Darius in the Opry and all the more talent to be inducted over the years!

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