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Rascal Flatts Claim They ‘Paved the Way’ for Taylor Swift

Rascal Flatts have not only been one of country music’s most successful acts, but their tight harmonies and well-crafted lyrics have worked their way into the pop world, well ahead of the recent crossover success of artists such as Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum. But the trio aren’t surprised by their influence. They’re just surprised it went unnoticed for so long.

“It’s kind of amazing that people are just now finding out about it,” Flatts guitarist/pianist Jay DeMarcus admits to The Boot. “Not to sound boastful … but I think there was a movement that was started with us and Keith Urban, that paved the way for country to cross over a little more easily, with the pop-flavored country music that we know today.”

And while they have yet to see one of their own singles go all the way to No.1 on the pop chart, the Flatts are still bursting with pride for artists who do achieve that feat. “I’m so proud to see the success that someone like Taylor is having,” Jay says. “I think there’s a void there that country music has been able to fill, and artists like Taylor and Keith and Lady A are filling those voids.”

The trio especially have their eyes on Taylor, partly because they take some of the ownership in her soaring career. “Taylor did the same thing we did three or four years ago,” Gary LeVox continues, “because we had out-sold everybody in every genre of music, and Taylor did the same thing this year. So I think after a few years of it starting to take hold … I think that’s why every artist from everywhere tries to come over and get into country music.”

The boys will have even more exposure this week, when their latest hit, ‘Unstoppable,’ will be featured at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. They are also continuing their American Living Unstoppable tour in 2010, as well as working on another album.

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