Joe Don Rooney, along with second cousins Gary Levox and Jay DeMarcus, are and always have been Rascal Flatts. Though the cousins hail from Columbus, Ohio, the band draws its name from a landmark in Rooney's home state of Oklahoma.
DeMarcus left Columbus in 1992 to chase a music dream in Nashville with the group East to West while Levox embarked on a career of his own, eventually making his way to Music City, as well. DeMarcus ended up in Chely Wright's band where he met Rooney who was her guitarist.
Gigging regularly with Levox at Nashville's Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar, DeMarcus invited Rooney to fill in for their sick guitarist one night in January of 1999 and the rest is history in the making.
Their signature harmonies layered on top of solid songwriting landed them a deal with Lyric Street Records in no time. Their 2000 self-titled debut landed four singles in the Top 10 including, “Prayin' for Daylight.” From the other three, “I'm Movin' On” was named 2002's Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.
Taking that success even further, their 2002 sophomore outing, Melt, yielded their first number one country hit in “These Days,” as well as their second with “Mayberry.” The album went platinum in less than two months. Younger fans, in particular, flocked to the trio.
A live album bridged the artistic gap until 2004's Feels Like Today was released. Spawning their most successful single to date in “Bless the Broken Road” which topped the charts for five weeks, the album went on the sell over five million copies.
Its successor, Me and My Gang, did the same sort of business. The record's first single, "What Hurts the Most," topped both the Adult Contemporary and Country charts, spending four weeks in the latter seat. It even cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two more top country hits followed, “My Wish” and “Stand.” Me and My Gang was the second best-selling album of 2006.
For 2007, Rascal Flatts came out with Still Feels Good, a double-platinum effort that included their only single, so far, to miss the top 10. “Bob That Head” broke their lucky streak when it stalled at number 15. The boys got their groove back when their next single, “Here,” became their ninth number one hit.
With that many smash songs, it was time for the trio to release a greatest hits collection, and so they did. The set also included three Christmas songs.
Their 2009 endeavor, Unstoppable, was their last with Lyric Street and would fail to generate a chart-topping single. Upon the dissolution of Lyric Street, Rascal Flatts signed on with Big Machine Records for 2010's Nothing Like This. In 10 years together as a band, they have enjoyed 11 number one singles and over 20 million CD sales.
As a touring act, the group is among the top 25 artists. Employing pyrotechnics, special effects, and lasers in their stage production, they are known in industry circles for their three-night sell out of Madison Square Garden. They also sold out Wrigley Field, the only country music act to ever do so. Note: Rascal Flatts is not spelled Rascall Flatts, Rascal Flat, or Rascal Flatt.