Darius Rucker Dedicates 'Amazing Grace' to Charleston During CMT's 'Instant Jam' Concert
Darius Rucker has dedicated "Amazing Grace" to Charleston, South Carolina, a city still raw from June’s church massacre.
Rucker's emotional dedication came during taping of CMT's Instant Jam in Charleston, where the hometown hero performed an acapella version of the classic song and alluded to the mid-year tragedy.
Sources at the taping say he told the audience: "We went through a lot crap recently. The tragedy broke my heart. The greatest feeling I've had in a long time is when that played out and our city didn't divide. We said this is us. We said to that guy that lives in a time that doesn't exist anymore, 'you wanted to mess with our city and instead you brought us together.'"
He added, “We realized how much we love each other that someone who is not like me is there and we still love them. This song goes out to our city."
Rucker’s dedication Charleston is a timely one. A disgruntled former employee of WDBJ, Vester Lee Flanagan (also known on-air as Bryce Williams), this week allegedly shot to death two reporters during a live broadcast in Roanoke, Virginia before turning the gun on himself. Before the attack, Flanagan is reported to have shared a 23-page manifesto, in which he said the June 17 church shooting in Charleston was “the tipping point” for his action. Charleston lost nine people in the mass shooting.
In addition to Rucker’s dedication, he performed a surprise cover of the ‘90s Blackstreet classic "No Diggity," John Mellencamp’s ‘80s anthem "Pink Houses" and the Hootie & the Blowfish staples "Let Her Cry" and "Only Wanna Be With You".
Demonstrating his connection with his fans, Rucker stopped mid-performance to have medics assist a woman suffering from heat exhaustion. The show was taped on the beach right outside of Charleston and will air Sept. 5 on CMT at 10pm ET.
Rucker -- who issued his debut country album Learn To Live in 2008 -- most recently hit the Hot Country Songs top 10 with “Homegrown Honey.” His latest album is his fourth to top the Billboard Country Albums chart.