Meet Beth Leonard, wife of country music singer Darius Rucker. The two met in New York while Beth, a New Jersey native, was working for VH1, organizing events, dealing with artists and managers, and booking talent. at that time, singing group “Hootie & the Blowfish” were regulars, and Beth was in charge of keeping them happy.
“I’ve got a gift for reading people,” Beth says, “and I had this sense that Darius was sincere. Turns out I was right.”
Darius on how they met: “She worked at VH1, and she was in charge of taking care of us at a show once. We met there but didn’t really start going out for three years [laughs]. I don’t think she liked me too much.”
Beth and Darius married in 2000. They have two children together. Darius also has a older daughter named Carolyn from a previous relationship.
In 2008, Rucker signed to Capitol Records Nashville as a country music artist, releasing the album Learn to Live that year. Its first single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, made him the first African American to chart a number one on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride in 1983. It was followed by two more number-one singles, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” and “Alright” and the number three “History in the Making”.
In 2009, he became the first African American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association, and only the second African American to win any award from the association.