Gary LeVoxLead vocals1999-
Joe Don RooneyGuitar1999-
Formed in 1999, Rascal Flatts had an incredible run in the '00s, with six albums that each sold over a million copies thanks to their pop crossover appeal - their songs would consistently place in the Top 10 of the Country chart and also make the Hot 100 pop chart. The only country band that was more successful in that decade was The Chicks.
On their first few albums, most of their songs were written by outside writers and most of the instruments were played by Nashville session musicians. This didn't go over well guitarist Joe Don Rooney and bass player Jay DeMarcus, but it was a winning formula. They never had a drummer, so some session players were always necessary.
They were signed to the Disney label Lyric Street Records, whose other big act early on was SHeDAISY. Rascal Flatts fit the Disney aesthetic, with a clean-cut look and anodyne lyrics. Folks who liked their country acts wearing cowboy hats and slugging whisky derisively referred to them as "HeDAISY."
Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox are second cousins raised in Columbus, Ohio. DeMarcus was the first to go to Nashville, where he was one half of the Christian duo East to West. He met Joe Don Rooney, an Oklahoma native a few years younger, when they played together in Chely Wright's touring band. After LeVox came to Nashville, the three started performing together and formed the band.
Gary LeVox and actor/singer Jamie Foxx were roommates for a brief time in the late 1990s while LeVox was pursuing a music career in California. In 2007 Foxx appeared on "She Goes All The Way," a track from Rascal Flatts' Still Feels Good album.
Joe Don Rooney performed together with Keifer Thompson as teenagers, before Joe Don Rooney was part of Rascal Flatts and Keifer Thompson created Thompson Square.
Jay DeMarcus married Allison Alderson on May 15, 2004, after meeting her on the set while filming the video for the Rascal Flatts song "These Days." Allison is a former beauty queen who has held the titles Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1994, Miss Tennessee 1999 and Miss Tennessee USA 2002. She later became a correspondent for CMT Insider.
Gary LeVox got married to his wife Tara in 1999 before the band released their first album; Joe Don Rooney married his wife Tiffany in 2006.
In the US, Rascal Flatts' fourth album, Me and My Gang, had the best first-week sales of 2006, with 721,747 units. It logged three weeks at #1 and was the second-best selling album of 2006 (behind High School Musical) with sales totaling 3.5 million by the year's end.
On February 25, 2015, Rascal Flatts became the first country band to get its own Las Vegas residency when they started a nine-show run at the Joint, a 4,000 seater venue inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney's first choice for a name, Deuces Wild, had already been taken by several bands. They were unable to come up with an alternative until a piano player friend suggested Rascal Flatts, explaining it was the name of his high school garage band.
They announced their farewell tour in January 2020, but couldn't pull it off because of COVID. The following year, LeVox started performing as a solo artist.
"It feels really natural," he told Songfacts
. "Being the frontman for Rascal Flatts for 20 years, that was my job. I knew what my position was. We all knew what our lanes were. It was almost like being a solo artist at times."
"It was a transition I wasn't expecting," he added. "I didn't think Joe Don would want to retire and leave. You gotta play the hand you're dealt sometimes. You just gotta believe that God's timing is perfect."