Country Singer Darius Rucker Opens Up About Life On The Road, Divorce And New Book

In a daytime exclusive interview on the Thursday, June 6 edition of “Tamron Hall,” GRAMMY® Award-winning artist and country superstar Darius Ruckeropens up about the turbulent rockstar life on the road that led to his book, “Life’s Too Short: A Memoir by Darius Rucker.” Rucker gets personal with Tamron as he discusses everything from his divorce from wife of 24 years, Beth Leonard, to dabbling in drugs and partying as a young musician. Rucker also touches on his drug arrest earlier this year. More inside…

Darius Rucker on the end of his 24-year-long marriage to Beth Leonard: 

“Oh she saved my life. I mean, you know, I have so much love and respect for her. And the night she just said to me, ‘It’s time to quit,’ in her very colorful way, I realized it was time to quit. It was that day, I called the band and got my own bus. I said ‘This is over for me’ and it was over because I respected her and I respected my family, and I just wanted to be a better person…That [writing about the end of his marriage in the memoir] was hard. To write that stuff was hard because – to realize how awful I was as a husband was hard to write. To realize she did everything she could and she’s still wonderful. She’s still an amazing person. I love her so much. But I was just a rockstar, you know? And I lived that life.” Tamron asks about taking accountability while writing about the divorce in the memoir to which Rucker responds, “It’s tough. That’s why writing the book was so tough. Because like I said, I want to tell the truth, but sometimes the truth sucks. It sucks for me and then writing about her, I just wanted the world to know that it was all me. She was awesome. It was all me.” Tamron then asks “How did she [Beth] feel when you said ‘I’m writing this part-’” Rucker responds, “She said ‘No you’re not’… I’m sure she didn’t want to hear it again. My kids didn’t want me to write the book. But it was just something I needed to do for me.” 


Rucker on the being honest in his memoir about the early days of Hootie & The Blowfish including the drugs and partying:

“I said if I was going to write it, I was going to be honest, I was going to tell the truth. And that’s the truth. You know, when we were going, we were going. It was four brothers, four best friends who got famous. And you know, the party was out there and we found it. We didn’t have a problem. We had enough money to get whatever we wanted. It was just – we were out there. But the best part of that is when it was over, it was over. It was like in one night. One sentence ended it all for me and it was over.”


Darius Rucker remembers a music executive who doubted Hootie & The Blowfish early on and the discrimination he faced as a Black country music artist:

“That’s a true story. And a funny thing, sometimes I’ll be out right with some friends and someone will go ‘Oh, yeah. I saw this guy [the music executive] and he said he signed you guys.’ He didn’t sign us! He was the guy – that was heartbreaking to us. That somebody that high up at Atlantic said – and that was the quote, ‘If you put Cracked Rear View, you will be the laughing stock of music.’ And that hurt.. Nothing stops me. I mean, when I was in country music, I went into radio stations and people looked me in the eye and said, ‘Our audience will never accept a Black country singer.’ Just like that. And I was like, ‘Okay… but give it a shot. Play the record!’ And they played the record and we proved them all wrong.”


Rucker on his February 2024 drug arrest in Tennessee:

“Yeah, I finished the book [before his February arrest]…57 years old. Never seen the inside of a jail house in my whole life.” Tamron steps in to ask, “Tell me what happened.” Rucker responds, “A friend of mine was moving and he asked me to take some stuff, he couldn’t fly with it. I was going back home and some cops pulled me over and wanted to search my car and so they searched my car. And the funny thing was, they let me go and a year later I got a phone call that there was a warrant for my arrest… My friend at the police department was like, ‘You must have really made somebody mad up here or something.’ But you know, I dealt with it. Went and turned myself in. We deal with it. You make a mistake, you just own up to it and you deal with it.”

Photo Credit: Credit: DISNEY/Jeff Neira

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