Darius Rucker announced Saturday that he and wife Beth Leonard will be separating or "consciously uncoupling" after nearly 20 years together. The country star penned an emotional post making the announcement, making it clear the decision was mutual and the couple will remain friends.
According to The Boot, Rucker and Leonard have been married since 2000 and met while the latter worked at VH1. Rucker was still with Hootie and The Blowfish at the time, but according to the outlet it was love at first sight. This is reflected in the announcement of the separation, with both seemingly ready to move onto their next phase as co-parents for their children.
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"Beth and I would like to share that after much reflection we have made the decision to consciously uncouple. We remain close friends and parenting partners and continue to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders," Rucker wrote on Instagram. "Our priority will always be our beautiful family. We have so much love in our hearts for each other and will continue to encourage growth and expansion in one other. Please be kind as we take on this journey, and we thank you for your love and support always."
Rucker's marriage and family life has been a big influence on his music over the years. They appear in the video for "It Won't Be Like This for Long" and his song "Alright" was inspired by his marriage to Leonard. His past descriptions of their love story have also played the role of detailing the commitment between each other.
"I had been trying to get her to go out with me, and she wouldn't," Rucker told The Boot in a past interview. "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!'"
"She was walking up the stairs [to her apartment], and I said, 'Well, you know that I'm going to marry you, right?' She just laughed," he continued. "Her roommate or her boyfriend was up there in their apartment, and I yelled, 'To whoever's up there in Beth Leonard's apartment, you can just leave because I just want you to know that I'm going to marry her!'"0comments
Rucker also said that, "marriage is not easy" according to The Boot, With folks working together and either, "deciding to stay together or not." He then explained the balance in their relationship when it comes to romance.
"I work hard to let my wife know how much I love her," he adds. "I try to do that every day. Romantic stuff is not something I really remember. 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."