Following their 2016 Las Vegas residency, Rhythm & RootsRascal Flatts are set to hit the road this summer on a tour of the same name. They'll be bringing Kelsea Ballerini with them as one of their opening acts, and the Flatts say that the 22-year-old was actually their very first choice.

"It was an easy decision. She's on fire right now," Jay DeMarcus told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "So when we started looking at the people that we wanted to take out and package with, she was at the top of the list."

Joe Don Rooney deadpans, "We called "Dibs.""

"... She’s an incredible singer and bound to be a superstar," DeMarcus adds. "We reached out to her, and she was kind enough to say yes ... We love that she said yes to us."

Ballerini, who recently celebrated her second consecutive No. 1 single, with "Dibs," undoubtedly has plenty to learn from the award-winning trio. Since their self-titled debut album was released in 2000, Rascal Flatts have headlined 12 tours, selling out arenas and amphitheaters all over the country. Known for their nonstop, energetic performances, the guys say they're happy to share their wisdom with others.

"I think the thing I get asked most from time to time is how to put a show together, how to build a show," DeMarcus reveals. "We live in this world that’s so quick to lose their attention and so quick to move on to the next thing, and I think you need to build a show that’s built for the times ... You’ve got to have the kind of show that keeps people's attention, keeps moving and keeps them interested.

" ... Young artists, it’s hard for them to hear, but if you have one hit, or even two hits, you can’t do a bunch of songs that no one knows. They're not going to be patient enough to sit there through your experience as a singer-songwriter-artist. So you’ve got to build a show that’s built for the people that you’re in front of," he continues. "That’s hard to do. That’s not something that you can do overnight ... I think that’s the challenge that a lot of new artists face."

While social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have exploded since the Flatts' debut single, "Prayin' for Daylight," was released, the guys say that not all of the change has been for the better.

"It has affected our show, because we look at it from the standpoint of, they’re out there watching the show now through their cellphone. How do we motivate them to put that phone down for a second and be in the moment with us? And that’s the challenge," DeMarcus says. "We try to find interesting ways to do that: Gary takes their phone from them and does crowd shots with them, and it kind of disarms them for a second, and you’ll see them live in the moment.

" ... It’s weird for me, because loving music as much as we all did growing up, I can’t imagine wanting to watch a show of my favorite band through a screen. And that's the world we live in," DeMarcus notes. "It’s kind of awesome in one regard, but it’s kind of sad in another regard."

A list of all of Rascal Flatts' upcoming shows is available on their website.

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