BREAKING: Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox Reveals Joe Don Rooney Quit the Trio

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” LeVox shared of Rooney’s departure from the band.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 8, 2021


3:53 pm

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Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox is speaking out on the end of the popular country trio and the departure of longtime member, Joe Don Rooney.

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, LeVox, 51, opened up about the demise of the award-winning trio, known for massive hits such as “Bless The Broken Road,” “Life Is A Highway,” “What Hurts The Most,” “My Wish,” “I Like The Sound Of That” and more. LeVox admitted to the publication that he is unhappy with how the band ended, before revealing that Jon Don Rooney quit the trio.

“I’ve never been okay with the way that it ended,” LeVox confessed. “I was never okay with…” the singer added, before pausing to think what to say next. He then revealed, “I wasn’t happy that Joe Don [Rooney] quit.”

LeVox continued to share that Rooney’s departure was unexpected, then the global health crisis shut the world down, which ultimate forced everything to be cancelled, including their 2020 farewell tour. The dates for the farewell tour were never rescheduled, and the GRAMMY award-winning trio reportedly called it quits altogether.

Rascal Flatts; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Rascal Flatts; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” LeVox continued, referencing Rooney’s exit. “It was like, ‘Let me try to wrap my head around this.’ And then I certainly wasn’t okay with the pandemic, which canceled everything. I hate the way that it ended. I hate that we didn’t get to do this farewell tour. I can’t stand the fact that it just feels there’s no closure with something that we’ve been so blessed with. That will always be in my heart.”

The trio’s demise, ultimately led LeVox to his decision to pursue his solo material full time. 

“I just took it and ran,” he said. “I’m loving being a solo artist. I know that’s what He’s called me to do. I’m just going to stay on my path. I know what I’m supposed to do, and I love it. There’s no better feeling than to make people feel something by something that you did.”

Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski 2
Rascal Flatts; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

While Gary LeVox is hard at work on his solo project, he does admit that he is worried about his longtime friend and bandmate. And when the publication asked LeVox if he has spoken to Rooney since his DUI arrest, the “Working On Sunday” singer revealed, “I have not talked to him.”

“And I was heartbroken too. But you know what? I think God gets your attention in different ways,” LeVox added. “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.”

Founded in 2000, Rascal Flatts is one of the most successful country groups of all time with 17 No.1 singles and more than 23.4 million albums sold. Rascal Flatts has earned more than 40 trophies from ACA, ACM, AMA, CMA, People’s Choice and more, cementing the band as the most-awarded country group of the past decade. 

LeVox is gearing up to embark on his first-ever solo tour, which kicks off on October 14 in Evansville, IN at Victory Theatre.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.