Rascal Flatts Bandmates Reunite for a Studio Selfie [Picture]
Rascal Flatts bandmates Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney are in the studio together once again.
DeMarcus, the bassist for the country trio, posted a selfie that the two of them took together on Monday (Nov. 14).
"Hung out with this guy in the studio today!!" he writes beside it. "So good seeing [Joe Don Rooney]!!!"
The pair are smiling together in the photo, with DeMarcus' arm thrown around Rooney and guitars hanging on the wall in the background.
The mini-reunion was only missing Gary LeVox — the third former member of Rascal Flatts and the lead singer of the group.
Rascal Flatts' 20 years as a country band brought them to the very highest echelons of the genre, scoring enduring hits with songs like "What Hurts the Most," "Praying for Daylight," "Bless the Broken Road" and many more.
But in January 2020, the group announced that they were breaking up, and that they'd celebrate that year with a final blowout farewell tour before parting ways for good. Of course, two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic made touring an impossibility — and so Rascal Flatts' tenure as a band unceremoniously fizzled out, and fans never got their final tour from the trio.
At the time, the band cited solo ambitions as a major factor in their decision to split, but things got more complicated in the months and years that followed. In 2021, Rooney and DeMarcus showed up without LeVox to claim the group's Clifie Stone Icon Award at the ACM Honors in Nashville; a month later, Rooney was arrested on DUI charges. Shortly after that, LeVox said it was Rooney who had made the decision to quit the band.
Over the course of the next year, LeVox and DeMarcus launched solo careers — LeVox as a gospel artist, DeMarcus at the head of a new record label — and Rooney's personal life continued to make headlines. He and his wife Tiffany divorced, and in an interview, DeMarcus revealed that Rooney had gotten sober. In court depositions surrounding Rooney's divorce, DeMarcus testified that the last few years of Rascal Flatts' career were "strained," but that he didn't put the blame for their breakup on Rooney's decision to quit.
"I think Joe Don was the first one to be brave enough to put it out there that he was tired of the way things had been the last few years," he explained. "So he shared with us that he wasn't sure he had the energy or the emotional energy to deal with some of the things we had been dealing with on an ongoing basis."
Rascal Flatts fans are still hoping that the trio will be able to reunite for their planned final tour, and that's not entirely off the table — at least, not for DeMarcus. During an early 2023 fan Q&A, he said that "in a perfect world" his work with Flatts could co-exist with his other projects.
"I've never picked one over the other," DeMarcus reflected. "I love doing both. Rascal Flatts is my baby with Joe Don [Rooney] and Gary [LeVox], we've built that from the ground up. It'll always be a part of who I am, and I live it. I breathe it."