Gary LeVox Says Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Quit the Band
In announcing their decision to break up, the group said it was just time — that they each wanted to pursue solo interests.
"Twenty years in a band together is a long, long time, and I love the fact that we're able to look back and say we still love and respect each other after 20 years," Jay DeMarcus said last year. "A lot of bands can't say that."
Talking to People recently, LeVox adds a new layer. Rascal Flatts had planned to have one big final tour in 2020 before they split, but the pandemic changed that. They never rescheduled those dates, unceremoniously calling it a career together.
"I've never been okay with the way that it ended," LeVox admits now. "I wasn't happy that Joe Don (Rooney) quit."
He furthers that Rooney's announcement came out of nowhere, and then came the pandemic, which canceled everything. "I hate the way that it ended," LeVox says. "I can't stand the fact that it just feels there's no closure with something that we've been so blessed with."
Rooney didn't offer comment to People for the article. He's been quiet on social media since his DUI arrest last month, even making his Instagram profile private. One month prior to that incident, only Rooney and DeMarcus turned up to accept the Cliffie Stone Icon Award at the ACM Honors in Nashville. During their remarks that night, neither man mentioned LeVox.
LeVox tells People he hasn't spoken with Rooney since the arrest, but was heartbroken to hear about it.
"I think God gets your attention in different ways," he tells the magazine. "I just wish him the best and I hope he gets everything that he needs to get well and take care of whatever issues he's got going on. There's power in prayer."
LeVox has nine solo tour stops planned in 2021, beginning next Thursday (Oct. 14) in Evansville, Ind. His new music will lean heavier into Christian music that fans of Rascal Flatts were used to.
15 Country Music Breakups That Hit Us Like a Ton of Bricks: