Hailed as one of the most influential groups in modern country history, it seems Rascal Flatts are calling it quits!
Since first forming in 2000, the trio have racked up 17 number one hits, over 23.4 million albums sold, 35 million digital downloads, 2.2 billion streams worldwide, and earned more than 40 trophies from the ACA, ACM, AMA, CMA, People’s Choice and more, making them the most awarded country group of the past decade.
The group announced its retirement in January 2020, and was scheduled to part ways last year after their 17th headlining concert in 20 years. However, last March’s onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic postponed — and has now cancelled — those dates.
While there’s no plans for the trio to do anything together in the foreseeable future, the retrospective players are now pursuing other interests. Lead singer Gary LeVox is readying the release of his forthcoming Christian EP, and planning to record a solo country album after that. Multi-instrumentalist Jay DeMarcus is working on his label Red Street Records, and, while there is no word on guitarist Joe Don Rooney, he is married with three young children.
To celebrate the amazing twenty-year career of the band, we’ve ranked our five favourite Rascal Flatts songs!
5. Easy (featuring Natasha Bedingfield)
Easy was released as a duet with British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield. It was the third and final single from Rascal Flatt’s seventh studio album, Nothing Like This. The music video was filmed at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville and is a re-telling of the story of Cinderella, with Bedingfield playing the fairy tale princess. The single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
4. What Hurts The Most
What Hurst The Most was initially recorded by country music artist Mark Wills in 2003 on his album And The Crowd Goes Wild. It was also covered by Irish girl group Bellefire and pop singer Jo O’Meara before Rascal Flatts released their version as the first single from the 2006 album, Me and My Gang. The band performed the song live with Kelly Clarkson at the ‘Academy of Country Music Awards’ in 2006.
3. Life Is A Highway
Life Is A Highway is an original song by Canadian Tom Cochrane, from his 1991 album Mad Mad World. The song was later covered by Rascal Flatts for the soundtrack of the 2006 animated Pixar film, Cars. The Rascal Flatts version subsequently became a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it peaked at number seven.
2. Here Comes Goodbye
In 2009, Rascal Flatts released the song Here Comes Goodbye as the first single from their sixth studio album Unstoppable. Co-written by American Idol season six finalist Chris Sligh, Here Comes Goodbye became the trio’s tenth number one hit. It was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award for ‘Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals’ in 2010.
1. Bless The Broken Road
Bless The Broken Road was recorded by several American country music artists before becoming the number one single on the Billboard country music charts for Rascal Flatts in 2005, and earned songwriters Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna a GRAMMY Award for ‘Best Country Song’. A feature film based on the song titled, God Bless The Broken Road was released in 2018.
There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane to remind oneself just how many terrific songs Rascal Flatts have in their large repertoire. Fans, dubbed ‘Flattheads’, are encouraged to share their favourite memories on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #RascalFlattsFarewell.
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Image: via rascalflatts.com