The country trio Rascal Flatts announced Tuesday that the three members will be going separate ways after a farewell tour, set to begin in June and run through at least October of 2020.
The group appeared on “CBS This Morning” and didn’t offer any definitive reason for the split, assuring the show’s hosts that everyone was in good health.
“We want to take the year and focus on a celebration and thanking our fans for 20 wonderful years,” said Jay DeMarcus. “You know, road years are like dog years.”
“You’re hurting people, Gary,” laughed host Gayle King, looking to singer Gary LeVox. “I feel so sad, and you guys look so happy. I even said to Clarence (Spalding), your manager, ‘What kind of manager would allow this to happen?’ He said, ‘I’ve been trying to get this to happen for five years.’ I think he was kidding about that. But is it a time to reflect and… come back together at a later time?”
DeMarcus indicated that nothing is set in stone for the future but that this really is a breakup, not a hiatus. “We make music and that’s what we do,” he answered. “We may do it again someday collectively. We’re not gonna sign some pact that says we’re never gonna tour again or anything like that. We all stil love each other. But we do make music, and we’ll probably make some music maybe individually. Collectively, who knows what the future…” He pointed to Joe Don Rooney’s fingerless gloves. “Joe Don’s gonna need a job. He can’t even afford fingers.”
Said LeVox, “It’s tough year after year to outdo the tour that you’ve done previously the year before, and it’s gonna be nice to celebrate. We’re gonna take 12 months to celebrate our rear ends off with the people that have given us their everything.”
Asked if there would be farewell music in 2020 as well, LeVox said, “We do have some music coming this year” — adding that a good deal of major stars, like Taylor Swift, had been opening acts on Rascal Flatts tours over the years, suggesting that there might be guest appearances by some former openers.
The group said that they sent a letter to staff Monday night letting them know. “Some of them have been with us since year one,” said DeMarcus. “It was a very, very sad letter to send, but we wanted to let them know that they’ve got a year to prepare.”
As for immediate plans following the separation, no solo albums were promised.
“I got a Chik-Fil-A I wanna open up,” said Demarcus.
“I’m gonna open up a Popeyes,” added Rooney.
The farewell tour begins June 11 in Indianapolis and runs through Oct. 17 in West Palm Beach. It’s likely that’s not the very end of the road: There’s no Nashville show listed, which would be the likeliest spot for a final gig.
The trio’s most recent album, “Back to Us,” was released in May 2017 on Big Machine. They had a No. 1 country airplay hit off that album in “Yours If You Want It.” Altogether they had 14 No. 1 Billboard songs, including “Bless the Broken Road,” “Fast Cars and Freedom” and “What Hurts the Most.”
6/11 Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Music Center
6/12 Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
6/13 Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
6/25 Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
6/27 Pittsburgh, PA – S&T Bank Music Park
7/18 Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
7/23 St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
9/3 Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
9/4 Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center
9/5 Buffalo, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater
9/10 Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
9/11 Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
9/12 Washington, DC – Jiffy Lube Live
9/17 Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
9/18 Boston, MA – Xfinity Center
9/19 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
10/1 Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
10/2 San Diego, CA – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
10/3 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre
10/7 Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
10/9 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
10/10 Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
10/15 Atlanta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
10/16 Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
10/17 West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre