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Darius Rucker Will 'Never Forget' ACM Performance

Posted by Kersty Boll on 04/13/2011

Darius Rucker made a few lasting friendships during his performance with the ACM Lifting Lives music campers at Sunday night’s ACM Awards.
"When I was up there, I just felt every ounce of love that these guys have," said Rucker. "I love these guys. I can't wait for the camp so I can go hang out. They're awesome to hang out with; we laugh all the time. We're always high-fiving and hugging. These are my friends. This is my band."
Rucker teamed up with 25 members of the music camp for a first-time performance of "Music From the Heart," a song written by campers with developmental disabilities. The song was written last summer with help from songwriters Brett James and Chris Young. After hearing the initial recording of the song, Rucker knew it was something he wanted to be a part of.
"They were singing the demo, and when I got the demo, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck because it was just so great," he exclaimed. "They couldn't have asked me to do anything cooler than what I did [Sunday night]. It was one of the greatest musical moments I've ever experienced, and it's just something I'll never forget."
The first-time performance was in support of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, whose mission is to make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The VKC has hosted a music camp for people with Williams Syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities for six years but this past summer was the first time ACM Lifting Lives has sponsored the camp.
"I felt very calm," says camper Betsy James about the performance. "I knew that this was something we worked so hard together as a group to do, and I knew that I was ready to go."
Rucker laughed and agreed with her backstage at the ACM Awards, while Jimmy Clarke, another member of the ACM Lifting Lives Camp, gave major kudos to their singing partner.
"I was definitely excited about it. It was a good feeling, because we rehearsed it and practiced it really hard, and then to go up with our entire group and Darius Rucker," he said. "This is a guy that I have to give a lot of credit to, because he cares a lot about us, and I think it really speaks volumes for people who have disabilities. It doesn't matter what your disability is, if you can sing, you can put it out there. I believe God has given all of us a talent."
Source: The Boot; Photo: AP