Changed

Album: Changed (2012)
Charted: 73
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  • Rascal Flatts' eighth album takes its title from this song, which lead vocalist Gary LeVox penned with sometime writing partners Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher. He explained the name represents the different circumstances that the trio found themselves in. "It was a great title," he said. "Everything in our career has changed. We switched record labels. Last year, we switched management companies. A lot of things have changed in the last 10 years. We thought it summed up everything."
  • LeVox told Billboard magazine this ballad was inspired by the baptism of Neil Thrasher's daughter: "Neil was telling me about his daughter. When they were on vacation, she said, 'Dad, I want to be baptized,' so they found a minister. It was a sunset baptismal out in the ocean," he recalled. "When he brought the song to me, he already had the first half of the verse: 'I came up out of the water, raised my hands up to the Father, gave it all to him that day, felt a new wind kiss my face.'"

    The three songwriters built the song from there, with some heavenly assistance. "We really felt like we had something magical on that," said LeVox. "The three of us just held the pen and God kind of wrote the whole thing. It talks about how we all screw up and make mistakes and we can all change, but you have to be man enough or woman enough to say, 'Hey, I'm sorry.' Because you can't live your life with regret. It's time to change and sometimes the hardest thing in life is just forgiving yourself."
  • LeVox, Thrasher and Mobley wrote the song in the fall of 2010 and guitarist Joe Don Rooney told Billboard magazine how when LeVox played it for him and Jay DeMarcus, it resonated strongly because of the turbulent year the trio had experienced. "We had all this change going on through the year 2010 with Lyric Street Records shutting their doors and Big Machine Records picking us up, which was a godsend. And we parted ways with management," he said. "So we were jumping in bed with a new manager and through all this new stuff going on, this song found us. That song really set up how this album came to be."
  • The song has made an impact on a number of people, including a guy who was contemplating suicide. He later emailed the group to testify how the song changed him. "He was driving down the road, and pulled over to the side of the road," LeVox told Billboard magazine. "He knew at that moment, after listening to the song, he was going to change for the better. The power of a song - to have that impact on someone that is thinking about ending their own life is really unbelievable, it truly is."
  • The song's music video stars Charles Esten (who plays Deacon Claybourne in the hit drama series Nashville) as a man on a downward spiral, which is deeply affecting his relationship with his wife and daughter. Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox portrays his neighborhood bartender. "This video treatment best captures the emotion and depth of the lyrics," said the band's Jay DeMarcus. "It tells the story of a man on the brink of despair, who is ultimately saved by the ones around him, who love him the most. In that, he finds the strength to forgive himself."

    Charles Esten, is a friend of the band in real life. "I met him before he did the show through a mutual friend in Los Angeles named Mark," said Jay DeMarcus. "Mark called me up and said, 'I got a really great guy coming out there to be on Nashville and he doesn't really know anybody, doesn't have a whole lot of friends there,' so I reached out to him and we started talking and I just immediately found out what an incredible human being he is and what a great man he is."
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