The Real Reason Darius Rucker Is Splitting From His Wife Of 20 Years

It seems like Darius Rucker might not be a true believer in love after all. On July 11, 2020, the country star announced via Instagram that he and his wife, Beth Leonard, are calling it quits after 20 years of marriage. The former flames first met in New York in 1998. At the time, Leonard was working for VH1, while Rucker found himself in the Big Apple thanks to a gig with his band, Hootie & the Blowfish," according to Wide Open Country. "I don't know what it was about her," Rucker said about their meet-cute. "I mean, it was everything about her."

"I had been trying to get her to go out with me, and she wouldn't," the songwriter told The Boot in 2010. "I was in New York [with Hootie & the Blowfish], and it was one of those rare nights off. I didn't have anything to do — we always had something to do when we were in New York! We had the night off, and I was just in my hotel room. She called me and said, 'Hey, do you want to go see this play?' I was like, 'Sure!'"

After that night, Rucker knew Leonard was the one for him. "She was walking up the stairs [to her apartment], and I said, 'Well, you know that I'm going to marry you, right?'" he recalled. The pair tied the knot in 2000, per People.

So, how did the couple go from head over heels in love to calling it quits? Keep reading to find out. 

Darius Rucker and Beth Leonard are prioritizing their family

On July 11, 2020, country star Darius Rucker announced that he and his wife are going their separate ways after 20 years of marriage. "Beth and I would like to share that after much reflection, we have made the decision to consciously uncouple," Rucker captioned a photo of himself with Leonard on Instagram, referring to Gwyneth Paltrow's popular phrase.

"We remain close friends and parenting partners and continue to be each other's biggest cheerleaders," Rucker continued. The True Believers crooner noted that their "priority will always be [their] beautiful family."

Even though the couple — who share daughter Daniella and son Jack — are no longer in a relationship, they made it clear there is no animosity or ill-will between them. "We have so much love in our hearts for each other and will continue to encourage growth and expansion in one another," Rucker stated. "Please be kind as we take on this journey, and we thank you for your love and support always."

Of course, fans were upset Rucker's marriage didn't work out, but some commenters praised the pair on navigating their new normal. One person wrote: "Sounds pretty peaceful. Congrats on that!" Another echoed: "This brings a tear to my eye, but I wish you the best of luck!"

Darius Rucker admitted 'marriage is not easy'

After Darius Rucker and his wife, Beth Leonard, revealed they were going their separate ways after 20 years of marriage, fans were upset to hear the news. Prior to the split, Rucker couldn't help but gush about his wife. So much so, the "Wagon Wheel" singer wrote "Alright" about his relationship, per Wide Open Country. Rucker sings: "Cause I've got a roof over my head / The woman I love laying in my bed / And it's alright, alright." But were things behind the scenes really alright, alright?

"Marriage is not easy," the Grammy winner told The Boot in 2011. "You have to decide to work. That's what it really comes down to, two people deciding to stay together or not." At the end of the day, Rucker cherished every moment with his wife and attempted to make her feel special at all times. "I work hard to let my wife know how much I love her," he added. "I try to do that every day."

However, Rucker hinted that he is not always the easiest to be with. "Romantic stuff is not something I really remember," he said. "I'm sure she could tell you some stuff that I've done that's really cool, but for me, I just want her to be happy. She's a strong woman. It's hard to be married to me, and it was a lot harder when I was younger!"

Darius Rucker said Beth Leonard 'saved [his] life'

Darius Rucker became the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish when the group formed in 1986, and from there, his career took off. Since Rucker was part of a successful rock band, he was on the road a lot and dabbled in the party scene. "Doing drugs and drinking every night — I've done that," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2013. "Trust me, I've done enough for everybody. And it's just not how I want to live anymore."

Luckily, Leonard was by his side through the ups and downs and late nights. "I thank her every day for staying with me and being the strong woman she is, because with Hootie & the Blowfish, I could be gone for three months and then I'd come home for two days and then I'd be gone again for a month, and she put up with all that crap," he told The Boot.

"You know, her and country music saved my life," the South Carolina native stated about his ex. Unfortunately, Leonard and Rucker couldn't salvage their relationship.

We're wishing Rucker and Leonard all the best moving forward.