Rascal Flatts Receive Special Honor From Nashville’s Mayor
Rascal Flatts capped off their first decade as one of country music's most successful groups of all time with a performance Tuesday night (December 14) at the Grand Ole Opry. The trio -- lead singer Gary LeVox, bassist Jay DeMarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney -- were also acknowledged for their contributions both on and offstage, with a special proclamation presented by Nashville mayor Karl Dean.
The honor spotlighted the band's generous donations to several worthwhile causes, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Jason Foundation and the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The hospital recently renamed its pediatric center the Rascal Flatts Surgery Center.
"This is such a privilege to be here tonight to thank you in person for all that you do for the community and for the children in this city," Mayor Dean stated.
The guys, who were met with a standing ovation after the proclamation was announced, were humbled by the honor. "Thank you so much, Mayor," Jay replied. "We love calling Nashville home and thank everyone in this city who have helped us help the community and for being a part of our career."
The band members have been especially generous this year. In addition to making a large financial donation to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital, they also partnered with JCPenney stores to help the Salvation Army by hosting a toy drive, donating a portion of their proceeds from their 'Nothing Like This' CD. A check for $100,000 was donated on behalf of JCPenney.
They also donated guitars they custom-designed as part of the Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction, with proceeds going to flood relief, and headlined the Gift of Music concert, which benefited the W.O. School of Music.
Rascal Flatts' 10-year career includes many highlights in addition to their charitable giving. The Grammy-nominated trio has sold 20 million albums, had 25 million digital downloads and scored 24 Top 10 singles, with 12 that went all the way to No.1, including their current chart-topping 'Why Wait.'
The trio will kick off the 2011 leg of their Nothing Like This tour on January 14 in Sioux Falls, S.D., taking along opening acts Luke Bryan and Chris Young for the ride. Find their show schedule here, and watch video of the special Rascal Flatts presentation at the Opry here.