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Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts is an American country music band that originated in Columbus, Ohio, United States of America. Since its inception, Rascal Flatts has been composed of three members: Gary LeVox (lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (bass guitar, keyboard, piano, vocals) and Joe Don Rooney (lead guitar, vocals). LeVox and DeMarcus are second cousins.   Between 2000 and 2010, Rascal Flatts recorded for Disney Music Group’s Lyric Street Records. While on that label, the band released seven albums, all of which have been certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In order of release, these albums are Rascal Flatts (2000), Melt (2002), Feels Like Today (2004), Me and My Gang (2006), Still Feels Good (2007), Greatest Hits Volume 1 (2008) and Unstoppable (2009). After Lyric Street closed in 2010, Rascal Flatts moved to the independent Big Machine Records, releasing Nothing Like This in November 2010.   Rascal Flatts’ studio albums have accounted for twenty-six single releases. All of these have charted within the top 20 or higher on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eleven number ones. The band’s longest-lasting number one, a cover of Marcus Hummon’s “Bless the Broken Road”, spent five weeks in that position in early 2005. The late 2005–early 2006 release “What Hurts the Most” was a number one on both the country and adult contemporary charts, and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

History   We’re not just business partners, we are good friends. That’s why we have had the longevity we have.   Joe Don Rooney, 2006, People magazine   Rascal Flatts’ founding was at Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar in Nashville, Tennessee. Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus are second cousins from a musical family. (DeMarcus’s brother-in-law, James Otto, is also a country music artist.) DeMarcus moved to Nashville in 1992, earning his first record deal as part of a Christian group called East to West. In 1997, he finally convinced LeVox to leave his job and pursue a career in music.   DeMarcus soon joined Chely Wright’s band, but and there he met Joe Don Rooney, who was the guitarist in that band. DeMarcus and LeVox were working in a Printer’s Alley nightclub, and when their part-time guitarist could not make it one night, DeMarcus invited Rooney to sit in. The crowd’s reaction was a positive one, and many asked the trio what their band’s name was. They told the crowd that they did not have a name, and according to Gary, a man approached them and told the trio that he had a garage band when he was younger, named Rascal Flatts. The trio liked the name, and began performing together.   Producers Mark Bright and Marty Williams played Lyric Street Records A&R Doug Howard a three-song demo and Howard thought they were “just incredible”. After he’d heard the demos, the band went into the Lyric Street offices the next day, sat down with acoustic guitars and played a couple of songs. According to Howard in an interview with HitQuarters: “The vocals and harmonies, it was all there — I was just blown away. The lead singer has such a unique and compelling voice.” The band was signed to Lyric Street in late 1999.   Musical career   2000–2002: Rascal Flatts   In early 2000, the group made its debut with the single “Prayin’ for Daylight”, a song that had been on the three-song demo that had got the band signed. The song, which reached number three on the Billboard country charts, was the first single from their self-titled debut, which was issued in early 2000 on Lyric Street. Following “Prayin’ for Daylight”, the album’s other three singles all made top ten on that chart: “This Everyday Love”, “While You Loved Me”, and “I’m Movin’ On”, which respectively peaked at numbers 9, 7 and 4. “I’m Movin’ On” was awarded Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 2002.   The album was met with positive reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it “a sunny, pleasing modern country-pop album”.   The FunTrivia website says Rascal Flatts recorded the song “Walk the Llama Llama.” that was part of “The Emperor’s New Groove”, one of the most widespread Walt Disney movie soundtracks in the year of 2000.   2002–2004: Melt   Melt was the title of their second album, released in 2002. Unlike their previous album, Rascal Flatts co-produced Melt. Its first single, “These Days”, also became their first number-one single on the country charts. The album included two more top ten hits, “Love You Out Loud” and “I Melt”, and the band’s second number-one single, “Mayberry”. The music video for “I Melt” featured partial nudity, and as a result, the video was banned from the Great American Country network.   2004–2005: Feels Like Today   Rascal Flatts’ third album was entitled Feels Like Today, and it was released in late 2004. The album’s title track was its first single, followed by “Bless the Broken Road”. This latter song was originally recorded by its co-writer, Marcus Hummon, and had also been recorded by Melodie Crittenden (whose version made the country charts in 1998), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Sons of the Desert. In early 2005, Rascal Flatts’ version of the song spent five weeks at number one. After this song, “Fast Cars and Freedom” also went to number one. While this song was climbing the charts, some radio stations began playing a hidden track on the album, titled “Skin”. This unsolicited airplay caused “Skin” to enter the top 40, and after “Fast Cars and Freedom” peaked, it was released as a single under the title “Skin (Sarabeth)” and officially added to the album’s track list.   2005–2007 Me and My Gang and Still Feels Good   Rascal Flatts’ thirteenth chart entry, “What Hurts the Most”, was released in December 2005. This song, which had previously been recorded by Mark Wills in 2003, was the first single from their fourth album, 2006’s Me and My Gang. For this album, the band worked with producer Dann Huff. “What Hurts the Most” was a crossover hit, reaching number one at both country and adult contemporary, as well as top 10 on the Hot 100 charts. After it, the album’s title track charted in the top ten, and both “My Wish” and “Stand” made number one.   Also in 2006, the group charted in the top 10 of the Hot 100 with a cover of Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway”, which they recorded for the Pixar film Cars. Although “Life Is a Highway” was not released to country radio, several country stations began playing the song, causing it to chart within the top 20 of Hot Country Songs.   Me and My Gang had the highest US debut of 2006, with 722,000 units in April. The album spent 15 weeks as the number one album on the Billboard Country Chart and was the second-best selling album of 2006 (behind High School Musical) with sales totaling 3.5 million by year’s end. The album’s success led the band to take the spot of top-selling artist for all genres of music, which hadn’t been accomplished in 15 years by a country group.   Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts performed together at the 2007 Grammy Awards ceremony. Later the same year, the group released the single “Take Me There”, a song which Kenny Chesney co-wrote and had initially planned to record himself. It became a number-one country hit in September and was the first single from their album Still Feels Good. It was followed by “Winner at a Losing Game”, the first single which the band wrote itself. Both it and its followup “Every Day” peaked at number two on the country charts. The fourth single from Still Feels Good, “Bob That Head”, became the band’s first single to miss the top ten at country radio. The album’s fifth and final single, “Here”, was released in August 2008 and became their ninth Number One hit on the chart week of January 3, 2009.   2008–2010 Greatest Hits Volume 1 and Unstoppable   Rascal Flatts released their first Greatest Hits CD, Greatest Hits Volume 1 on October 28, 2008. The album contains 13 of their biggest songs, starting with “Prayin’ for Daylight” and going through “Life Is a Highway”. The limited edition of the album contains a second disc with three Christmas songs: “White Christmas”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. A year later in October 2009, they released a second edition of their greatest hits collection, this time with a second disc containing live performances of “Take Me There”, “Summer Nights”, “Me & My Gang”, and “Winner at a Losing Game”.   Rascal Flatts released the first single “Here Comes Goodbye” from their album, Unstoppable, to radio on January 20, and the album was released on April 7, 2009. The song was co-written by American Idol season 6 finalist Chris Sligh. The second single, “Summer Nights”, co-written by Gary LeVox, was released in early May 2009 debuting at #57 and topped out at #2 on the country charts. The group performed Summer Nights at the CMT Music Awards, Oprah’s Kickoff Party, and the finale of America’s Got Talent. The third single off the album, “Why”, peaked at #18 on the country charts. Rascal Flatts performed “Why” on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. The band released their fourth single, “Unstoppable”, in January 2010.   A special release version of their album Unstoppable is available at JCPenney stores nationwide. It features a special release song entitled “American Living” only available on the albums sold at JCPenney stores. JCPenney is an official sponsor of Rascal Flatts’ Unstoppable American Living Tour in an two-year partnership and $1 of every CD sold at JCPenney will be donated to the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. On July 16, 2009, as part of the JCPenney America
n Living Tour, Rascal Flatts made history as the first country music group to play Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The trio was joined by fellow artists, Vince Gill and Darius Rucker for a near-sellout crowd.   2010–present Nothing Like This, The Best of Rascal Flatts Live and Changed   After the closure of Lyric Street in April 2010, Rascal Flatts signed to Big Machine Records in July of the same year. The group’s first release for the label was “Why Wait”. Their next album Nothing Like This was released November 16. In December 2010, this song became the trio’s eleventh number-one single on the country music charts. In March 2011, Rascal Flatts was featured on a remix of Justin Bieber’s song “That Should Be Me”.   The second single from Nothing Like This was “I Won’t Let Go”, which went to number two in early 2011. Following it was the band’s first collaborative release to country radio, “Easy”, which features a duet vocal from British singer Natasha Bedingfield.   On November 8, 2011, Hollywood Records released The Best of Rascal Flatts Live.   They also announced on a recent Today Show appearance that they were in the studio working on a new album due out April 2012. Gary LeVox quoted “Its pretty good, (laughs) really good” Jay Demarcus told that they are doing things a little differently this time and producing some songs entirely by themselves and the rest with Producer Dann Huff.   On January 19, 2012 Rascal Flatts took to their Twitter to announce that their new album entitled ‘Changed’ will be released April 3, 2012.   Reception   The group has an uncommon youth demographic (18–25) for country music. In September 2007, Weekly Reader Research conducted a poll of more than 2,000 children and Rascal Flatts ranked as the sixth-most-popular act among ages 10–12.   They have raised and donated millions of dollars to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. They are also involved with the American Red Cross as they are members on the celebrity cabinet board.   Touring   Rascal Flatts has enjoyed financial success as touring artists. Nielsen reported that the band was the top selling artist in 2006: “Rascal Flatts was the biggest selling artist, with nearly 5 million physical album sales and nearly 4 million digital track sales.” They had their first headlining tour beginning in Fall 2002, and by 2005 they were among the top 25 tours of the year, grossing $26.3 million in 777,384 tickets sold, according to Billboard Boxscore. Their follow-up tour in 2006 grossed $46.2 million, drawing more than a million people to 79 shows. Rascal Flatts has the third-highest US country tour in 2007, grossing $34 million from 588,009 tickets sold. The group grossed $16.8 million dollars from their summer tour alone.   Rascal Flatts’s shows are heavy on special effects, including videos, pyrotechnics and laser lights.   Tours  Jo Dee Messina’s Burn Tour – 2000–2001  (CMT on Tour)I Melt Tour – 2002–2003 with Chris Cagle   Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus & Wild West Show – 2003  Kenny Chesney’s Guitars, Tiki Bars & Whole Lotta Love Tour – 2004  Here’s to You Tour – 2004–2005 with Keith Anderson & Blake Shelton   Me & My Gang Tour – 2006–2007 with Eric Church (2006: kicked off for playing past time limit) & Gary Allan & Jason Aldean   Still Feels Good Tour – 2007–2008 with Jason Aldean (2007) & Kellie Pickler (2008) & Taylor Swift (2008)   Bob That Head Tour – 2008–2009 with Taylor Swift (2008) & Jessica Simpson (2009)   American Living Unstoppable Tour – 2009–2010 with Darius Rucker   Nothing Like This Tour – 2010–2011 with Kellie Pickler (2010) Chris Young (2010-2011) & Luke Bryan (2011)   Flatts Fest Tour – 2011 With Sara Evans, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin   Thaw Out 2012 Tour – 2012 With Sara Evans, Hunter Hayes   The American Band Tour – 2012 with Little Big Town, Eli Young Band & Edens Edge

Contributions for other artists   Rascal Flatts’ members have also contributed to the work of other artists. LeVox, along with Jason Sellers and Wendell Mobley, co-wrote Phil Stacey’s 2008 debut single “If You Didn’t Love Me”. DeMarcus has co-produced albums for several artists, including Chely Wright’s 2002 album Never Love You Enough as well as Chicago’s Chicago XXX. James Otto’s 2008 album Sunset Man was co-produced by DeMarcus and John Rich of Big & Rich.   The group has also contributed portions of the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, with acoustic versions of “Bless the Broken Road” and “Backwards”. In 2011, they did a remix of “That Should Be Me” by Justin Bieber on the remix album “Never Say Never – The Remixes”. In the same year, Anna Wilson’s “Countrypolitan Duets” album also include a song that she feat. Rascal Flatts & Ray Price which is called “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”. In the same year, they collaborated with Michael Bolton in his latest album called Gems, the song is called Love Is Everything.

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