Rascal Flatts Invited to Join the Grand Ole Opry
Tuesday night's (Sept. 27) Grand Ole Opry show was one the members of Rascal Flatts -- Jay DeMarcus, Joe Don Rooney and Gary LeVox -- will never forget. After the country trio's set, Vince Gill surprised them on stage with a very special invitation: to become the newest members of the legendary country music institution.
"We had absolutely no clue," a still-astonished Jay said backstage. "The only thing that was a little bit weird to me was that I told my wife to stay home tonight. I said, 'We're only doing three songs; it's a short segment.' And she showed up right before we went onstage. She said, 'I put the baby to bed and the nurse was there, so I just came on.' And even when Vince came out, I thought he was just messin' with Joe Don!"
With an 11-year career that's included multi-platinum sales, sold-out tours and scores of CMA, ACM, People's Choice and other awards, the guys were still holding out hope for the one honor they'd dreamed of from the start: becoming members of the Grand Ole Opry.
"All I could think about was being a little kid, sitting in the nosebleed section of the Grand Ole Opry," Jay reflects. "The first thought that came into my head was, 'I cannot believe I used to come here on family vacations and watch the Opry with my mom at the very top.' Then to be on the stage, and then asked to be a member of the Opry -- it had all come full circle. It all hit me, a flood of emotions all at once, and it was tough to keep it together."
Rascal Flatts' Opry induction will take place Oct. 8. The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating its 86th birthday throughout the entire month of October, with a long list of celebrations. An all-star tribute to Randy Travis will take place Oct. 4 on the coveted stage, followed by the Flatts' induction on a weekend that will also see performances by Charley Pride, Mel Tillis and Ronnie Dunn in his solo Opry debut. Read more about the Opry birthday festivities here.