Rucker grew up in the Charleston area | Photo by Ryan Johnson, City of North Charleston

Darius Rucker has picked up just about the only honor he hasn’t already been bestowed as a Charleston native: Southerner of the Year. The country artist was granted the title by Southern Living magazine last week.

After growing up in Charleston and cementing a solid early career as a splashy pop rock musician in Hootie & the Blowfish, Rucker has transformed himself into a bonafide country superstar. In 2012, Rucker was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, the pantheon of country music fame. He’s also made a point to use his fame to give back, reportedly raising over $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the years.

“This is the toughest time we may have seen in the history of our country. Even when things are good, it’s amazing how many people could use help,” he told Southern Living editor Sid Evans.

As 2021 Southerner of the Year, Rucker follows the 2020 honoree, another country star you may have heard of: Dolly Parton.