Rascal Flatts Admit Their Lack of Awards Show Wins Is Disappointing
As a trio, Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney -- together known, of course, as Rascal Flatts -- have released nine studio albums, five of which have been certified multi-platinum. They've notched 30 Top 10 singles and are spending the summer of 2016 on the road on their 13th headlining tour, the Rhythm & Roots Tour (to say nothing of their two Las Vegas residencies). In spite of those successes, however, major awards mostly have eluded the Flatts: They haven't won an ACM Award since 2009 (aside from the Jim Reeves International Award at the 2014 ACM Honors) and haven't won a CMA Award since 2008.
"I love what Dale Earnhardt used to say: ‘I’m not greedy, I’m just stingy,'" DeMarcus tells The Boot. "I’d like to win them all. When you’re up for them, you like to win them.
"It’s hard to watch so many people that you take out on the road with you, to open for you, go on and win Entertainer of the Year," he continues. "I felt like there were some years in the mid-2000s where we were worthy of it. That’s not being braggadocious. The numbers proved it, and we never, for some reason, got to the point to where people voted for us to get that. That’s the toughest one for me to come to terms with."
At the beginning of their career, Rascal Flatts were signed to Lyric Street Records, which suddenly closed in 2010. Although they went on to release Nothing Like This on Big Machine Label Group that same year, the guys did some serious soul-searching about their future as a band after the label change.
"We considered breaking up at the end of 2010, but not because we were fighting, but because we were in such a season of change," DeMarcus admits. "We had some hard conversations in the basement of my house, trying to figure out what the future for us looked like and trying to figure out if we had more to say.
"The answer quickly became yes, after we considered all the options," he recalls. "I think we’ll be one of those bands that will never officially do a farewell tour or break up. I figure we’ll be 60-year-old men, still playing dates at the Opry, but never officially say, ‘Hey, Rascal Flatts is no more.’"
Today, with both a Christmas album and a new studio album on the horizon, all three of the Flatts have their eyes firmly on the future.
"Twenty years -- another mile marker -- would be amazing to get to," Rooney says. "Fifteen years was a big mile marker to get to. To get to 20 years at the pace we’ve been going at and the success we’ve had, if we’re still able to do this kind of business and to impact people’s lives with music in four more years, that would be pretty incredible."
When Rascal Flatts began, only LeVox was married. Now, all three men have wives and children, and they confess that they wish they could go back and give their younger selves an important message: "It's okay to say no sometimes."
"I think one thing we’ve learned as a band is that your fire and your passion are so intense because you’ve got a record deal and you’re finally doing what you love to do. You have to establish yourself at radio and tour and do all of that, but you forget to schedule in the calendar times of being human," LeVox explains. "We ran ourselves into the dirt early on in our careers, where we just worked until we had no voices or we worked all the way up. I barely made it home for both of my daughters' births, and I’d have never lived that down. Jay had to fly from Michigan to home, have the baby and get on the plane and fly back out to the show."
A list of all of Rascal Flatts' upcoming shows is available on their website.
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