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Rascal Flatts Has “Nothing” Going On

Rascal Flatts at a press conference on July 29, 2010, announcing their signing to Big Machine Records.

It’s a monumental day for Rascal Flatts as the band releases a new album, its first after a 10-year history with Disney’s Lyric Street Records fell by the wayside.

The trio — Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney — debuted with “Prayin’ For Daylight” in 2000 and quickly became one of country music’s biggest acts, winning the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year honor six times in succession. Lyric Street folded this spring, and Rascal Flatts found itself recording an album without knowing who would put it out for them.

The guys had started the album in Santa Barbara, of all places, and it originally appeared that the project would get shifted to another Disney-owned label. Instead, Flatts was scooped up by Big Machine Records, an aggressive Nashville label that already had Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire and The Band Perry in its fold — and just last week announced the signing of Martina McBride.

The album Flatts was working on, Nothing Like This, is finally out today.

“We really cut some great things and tried some different stuff and kind of put our last 10 years’ career into one project — the things that brought us to the table, the things that built us a fan base in the beginning anyway to new stuff that we haven’t tried before,” Gary says. “I think we found some great songs early on, and that’s always a good thing to know — that we felt we had some hits under our belt already.”

While Flatts is viewing Nothing a bit like a recap of everything that’s come before, the band is not thinking that its one-decade milestone is the end of the road. Instead, the guys are considering it the beginning of another chapter, and they’re hoping they can follow the template set by Brooks & Dunn, whose second decade ended up being as significant as their first.

“I know they’re over now and they’ve stopped this 20-year run, but the last 10 years have been unbelievable for them,” Joe Don told the Associated Press. “They’ve done things they weren’t able to do the first 10. Looking at that, I think we can learn a lot from that. I think there’s a lot on the horizon from Rascal Flatts.”

That includes a ton of awards nominations on the immediate horizon. Flatts is up for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group in the American Music Awards on Nov. 21 and has four nominations for the inaugural American Country Awards on Dec. 6. The trio is also in the running for Favorite Country Artist at the People’s Choice Awards on Jan. 5.

See the behind-the-scenes story on the band’s latest video in the GAC special Rascal Flatts: Why Wait. It airs at 9:30 p.m. ET tonight, again at 1:30 a.m. ET and tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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