About Rascal Flatts
Known for their slick-sounding singles Rascal Flatts features Gary LeVox (born July 10, 1970), Jay DeMarcus (born April 26, 1971) and Joe Don Rooney (born Sept. 13, 1975).
A native of Columbus, Ohio, DeMarcus moved to Nashville in 1992 to find work as a musician. In 1997, he convinced his second cousin LeVox, also of Columbus, to come to Nashville to pursue a career as a singer.
DeMarcus and LeVox were gigging in a Nashville bar one evening when their guitarist couldn't make it to a show. DeMarcus invited Joe Don Rooney to fill in. Happy with the resulting sound, they recorded some demos and signed with a Disney imprint, Lyric Street.
In early 2000, they sent three glossy, pop-flavored songs into the Top 10: "Prayin' for Daylight," "This Everyday Love" and "While You Loved Me. " Though held in contempt by traditionalists, the trio sold more than 500,000 albums. A late-blooming fourth single, "I'm Movin' On," reached a more mature audience, propelling their self-titled debut album to platinum status and spawning an inspirational book of the same name.
"These Days," the first single from their 2002 album Melt, hit No. 1. They also won the CMA Horizon Award in 2002 and toured heavily with Toby Keith. In 2003, they won their first Vocal Group of the Year award from the CMA. The trio also caused a ruckus that year when Rooney appeared naked from behind in their music video, "I Melt." The follow-up single, "Mayberry," reached No. 1 in 2004. That same year, DeMarcus married Allison Alderson.
In early 2005, the band's album Feels Like Today picked up steam, due to the single, "Bless the Broken Road," which held on to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's country airplay chart for five weeks. The song also won a Grammy for country song, an award given to the songwriters. Feels Like Today ended up becoming the top-selling country album of 2005, even though it was released a year earlier. It also included the hits "Skin (Sarabeth)" and "Fast Cars and Freedom."
2006 saw the release of "Me and My Gang" and played for more than a million fans on their tour. Hits from the album include "What Hurts the Most," the title track and "I Wish."
Song by song, concert by concert, they continue to add to their stature. They were, for starters, the top-selling artist of 2006--in all genres of music. They scanned five million units, meaning that 1 of every 14 country CDs sold last year was a Rascal Flatts record. Their last CD, Me And My Gang, sold more than 721,000 copies in its first week, leading the band to become the top-selling artist in all of music, the first time in 15 years a country artist achieved that milestone. Their 2006 tour played to over 1 million fans in 74 cities, with 61 of those appearances sellouts, including those in L.A.'s Staples Center, New York's Madison Square Garden, and Nashville's Sommet Center. They broke venue attendance records throughout the tour. Rascal Flatts has also become one of the most consistently awarded acts in history, with their 2007 ACM Vocal Group of the Year award, their fifth, tying them with all-time super-group Alabama for most consecutive wins in that category.
Over the years they have played the Opry, appeared on the soundtrack of CARS by recording the song “Life Is A Highway,” which became one of 2006’s most digitally downloaded tunes and also a multi-award nominated song. Most recently, they did a fiery cover of the Beatles' "Revolution" for the Evan Almighty soundtrack. All have settled into happy married life-- Gary has two daughters, Brittany, 7, and Brooklyn, 3--and all are committed to sharing their good fortune. To cite just one charity, they have donated $1.4 million to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
"We just want to make the best music we can," adds Jay, "and I think we've been surprised ourselves with how much the fans have loved what we've done. It's incredible how much we've been blessed."
"We've worked really hard from day one," Gary reflects, "and we know who employs us. It's the fans, and we've tried to give back to them musically what they've given us. We love them like they love us."