Rascal Flatts Set the Record Straight
Rascal Flatts had their 'American Idol' reunion this week. With the finalists all performing songs by Shania Twain (who served as a mentor for the contestants for the week), the Flatts guys were thrilled to return to the 'AI' stage, performing both their new single 'Unstoppable,' and a duet with pop star Shakira.
"A couple of years ago, we were on 'Idol Gives Back,'" Gary LeVox recalls to CMT. "I think it's a testament of the songs that we pick and record because some contestants pick to sing our songs. We're really good friends with Ellen [DeGeneres] and Simon [Cowell] ... Kara [DioGuardi] actually had a song our last album. We've all written with Kara, and we've become good friends."
The guys made more headlines a few weeks ago when their label, Lyric Street, unexpectedly shuttered their Nashville office. But while fans were worried about what would happen to the award-winning trio, the guys say a lot of the information was blown way out of proportion.
"The press releases have been a little misleading in the fact that, yes, Lyric Street Records technically does not exist anymore," Jay DeMarcus says, "but we still have the same promotion and radio staff that we've had since day one. So for us as Rascal Flatts ... we're not going anywhere. We're OK, and we've got one more record left with Disney. We're working on a bunch of things right now that we're really excited about, so it's business as usual. We're still working on our record, and we've got the same team in place. We're very, very excited, although it was heartbreaking to see a lot of our great friends that we've developed such great relationships with over the past 10 years [leave the company]. It was heartbreaking, and we wish them all the best."
All avid golfers, the guys recently put their hobby to good use, by participating in a golf tournament benefiting the Nashville chapter of the ALS Association. It's a cause they are happy to stand behind. "It's a disease that has no warning," Gary says. "It can creep up anytime, and every hour and a half in America, someone loses their life to it and someone else gets ALS."
With both Gary and Jay calling Joe Don Rooney the best golfer, the humble band member says they are all equally challenged by the game. "It's a tough sport. What hair I have left, I've ripped a lot of it out because of golf. But it's one of those sports that keeps you coming back. It's wonderful to tie in a charity golfing outing. People love to play golf, so people get out, especially when the weather is good."
"We just play music so we can play golf," Jay jokes. "Really."
Thanks to the their generous efforts, the ALS Foundation raised more than $100,00 from the golf tournament -- a whopping $20,00 more than their goal. The guys will have less time to work on their game this summer when they hit the road with their Nothing Like This tour, along with opening acts Kellie Pickler and Chris Young. Click here for tour dates.