Internationally acclaimed country music star Darius Rucker will headline a dazzling night recognizing and supporting the numerous charitable efforts of Speedway Children's Charities at the 36th Annual Sonic Automotive Speedway Children's Charities Gala presented by The NRA Foundation on Wednesday, May 25 at the Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Rucker and members of his band will perform a 45-minute concert during the black-tie extravaganza that doubles as one of the area's largest fundraising events, with proceeds going to the grant program of Speedway Children's Charities' Charlotte chapter. The private event, emceed by NBC Sports personality Krista Voda, will include live music, exquisite food and silent and live auctions, featuring special vacation packages and exclusive autographed sports memorabilia. The Speedway Children's Charities Gala coincides with the thrilling 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a festival of motorsports excitement spanning May 20 to May 29.

Rucker, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, first attained multi-platinum status in the music industry as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of GRAMMY award-winning Hootie & the

Blowfish, a band he formed in 1986 as a student at the University of South Carolina.

Since re-introducing himself to the world as a country artist, Rucker has released four consecutive albums to top the Billboard Country albums chart and earned a whole new legion of fans.

In 2014, Rucker won his third career GRAMMY award for Best Solo Country Performance for his triple-platinum cover of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel," off his album, True Believers. Rucker's first two country albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966, produced five No. 1 singles. Southern Style, his fourth studio country album, features his latest No. 1 single "Homegrown Honey," co-written by Rucker, label mate Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Nathan Chapman. Additionally, Rucker performed the National Anthem at the Coca-Cola 600 in 2011 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 2014 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Speedway Children's Charities is a nonprofit organization that was founded by O. Bruton Smith in 1982. The mission of Speedway Children's Charities is to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. SCC has raised more than $46 million for worthy nonprofit organizations that meet the direct needs of children across the United States.

For more information about Speedway Children's Charities and how to get involved, visit