Rascal Flatts

  • Country rock/pop band formed in 1999, from Columbus Ohio. The members of the band are Gary LeVox (born Gary Vernon – lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (born Stanley DeMarcus – bass guitar, backing vocals) and Joe Don Rooney (guitar, banjo, backing vocals). All 3 contribute to songwriting.
  • LeVox and DeMarcus are second cousins. DeMarcus was living in Nashville, performing in the Contemporary Christian band East to West. He called LeVox and asked him to come to Nashville to sing harmony vocals on an album that DeMarcus was producing. DeMarcus also was the leader of country artist Chely Wright’s backup band, where he met Rooney. One night, LeVox and DeMarcus were performing at a Nashville bar, and their part time guitarist was not available. They asked Rooney to sub, and immediately the trio formed a bond. The bar owner asked them to perform every Tuesday night, and they gained a fan base. They made a demo tape, which found its way to a Nashville record company. An audition quickly led to a recording contract in 1999.
  • They chose their name Rascal Flatts after meeting a patron at the bar, who told them that back in the 60s, he had a band that played at high school dances, named Rascal Flatts. The trio drew up a contract on a napkin, and bought the name from the patron for $5,000. Sounds like a great deal for someone sitting at a bar!
  • One of the songs on the demo was Prayin’ For Daylight. It was released as a single in February 2000, and was included on their self-titled debut album, released in June that year. It peaked at #3 on the country charts, and its crossover to the Billboard Hot 100 put it at #38. Three other singles were released, each of which broke into the Country chart top 10, and the album ultimately was certified 2x platinum in sales. Another single on the album, I’m Movin’ On, received the Song of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music in 2002.
  • Their next album, released in 2002, was Melt. It was their first of 8 consecutive albums to reach #1 on the Country album chart – 4 of these albums were also #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart that crosses all genres. The album included 2 singles that topped the Country singles chart – These Days and Mayberry. Both songs also crossed over to the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.
  • Their biggest record was 2004’s Feels Like Today, which was certified 5x platinum. Two more #1 songs were on the album – Bless the Broken Road and Fast Cars and Freedom. 
  • They continued their success with 3 more albums during the 00s, with 5 songs reaching #1 and 3 more reaching #2 on the country chart. Their best selling single, What Hurts The Most, also was #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and #6 on the Hot 100. In 2006, they covered Tom Cochrane’s 1991 song Life Is A Highway for the animated film Cars, and their version reached #7 on the Hot 100 – one spot higher than Cochrane’s version 15 years earlier.
  • Rascal Flatts continued to score top 5 country hits in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – Why Wait and Banjo both topped the chart. Their sales have cooled a bit since then – 3 songs have managed to be in the top 10 – but they have continued to maintain a strong presence in country music. Their concerts are heavy on special effects, pyrotechnics and lasers – ticket sales to their concerts exceed 10 million. They’ve won numerous awards from the various country music associations (CMA, CMT, ACM), and have 4 Grammy nominations.
  • What makes this band special is their vocals. Their harmony is among the best in music. Check out the high harmony on their mega-hit What Hurts The Most.

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