11 Years Ago: Rascal Flatts Join the Grand Ole Opry
Eleven years ago today, on Oct. 8, 2011, Rascal Flatts were officially welcomed as members of the Grand Ole Opry. The trio was inducted by Little Jimmy Dickens.
After performing "Why Wait," "I Won't Let Go" and "Life Is a Highway," the threesome -- Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus -- were surprised by a video message from then-president George W. Bush.
“We are big fans of Gary, Jay and Joe Don,” Bush said in the video. “We love their music, and we also love their compassion and generosity. Throughout their success, Rascal Flatts have given back to their community and to our country by supporting the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the American Red Cross. I am especially proud of their efforts to honor the men and women of our armed forces and the heroes who are wounded on the front lines."
The Flatts were invited to become Opry members by Vince Gill, who gave them the surprise of a lifetime.
“All I could think about was being a little kid, sitting in the nosebleed section of the Grand Ole Opry,” DeMarcus says. “The first thought that came into my head was, ‘I cannot believe I used to come here on family vacations and watch the Opry with my mom at the very top.’ Then to be on the stage, and then asked to be a member of the Opry — it had all come full circle. It all hit me, a flood of emotions all at once, and it was tough to keep it together.”
The band still cites the Opry as one of their favorite places to perform.
“Blessed, honored, humbled, grateful," Rooney says. "Those are words that come to mind when I stand right here with my two compadres in this famous circle.”
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