Darius Rucker and his wife of 20 years, Beth Leonard, are calling it quits.
“Beth and I would like to share that after much reflection we have made the decision to consciously uncouple,” the country singer wrote, borrowing a phrase that was first popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin when they divorced. “We remain close friends and parenting partners and continue to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”
Rucker and Leonard are parents to daughter Daniella, 19, and son Jack, 15. The “Homegrown Honey” singer also has a daughter, Carolyn, 25, from a previous relationship.
“Our priority will always be our beautiful family,” he continued in the post caption. “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.”
The couple met in 1998 and tied the knot in 2000, People reported.
In the days leading up to his split announcement, Rucker sat down with TODAY’s Harry Smith to discuss Black Lives Matter and getting back on tour. Since the death of George Floyd, he revealed that his outlook has completely changed.
“I’ve lived with racism my whole life,” he said. “Really, you get to a point where you go, ‘That’s just how it is. When I was going to radio stations and you got guys telling me, ‘We’re not gonna play you ’cause you’re a Black guy,’ that’s just the way it is.”
He continued: “I can’t live like that anymore. I can’t just go, ‘It’s OK,’ and go on with my life and let somebody say something that I know they shouldn’t say.”
Specifically addressing the Black Lives Matter movement, he said, “I’m sure I’ve already lost fans.”
Rucker added: “You become a rich Black man and you think racism goes away. It doesn’t. There’s people that hate you more because you’re rich.”
SOURCE: Today – Ronnie Koenig