One band. Ten albums. Sixteen Number One hits. Over 23 million records and 10 million tickets sold.
With statistics like that, the numbers pile up so high it’s easy to get lost on top of the heap and forget why you wanted to be there in the first place. But not Rascal Flatts. Time and success have only put them closer to their core on Back to Us, their tenth LP that’s both a return to form and a proclamation of everything that this trio has come to represent over nearly two decades. And that’s expert musicianship, razor-sharp vocals and songs that have shaped lives, loves and the genre of country music itself. They’ve won over 40 awards, graced stages around the world and put time into charity organizations that have touched so many lives. But when it came to make their tenth album, they decided to focus on their roots, letting DeMarcus take the primary production reigns, anchored by Rooney’s world class guitar work. And not only did they pick the best songs and work with the best songwriters, they had a hand in writing many of the tracks themselves. That approach is just one of the reasons the music of Rascal Flatts has become a part of the story – those nuptials, graduations, family road trips – of so many.
Prolific singer-songwriter Clint Black has long been heralded as one of Country music’s brightest stars. His many talents have taken him even further, as Black has transcended genres to become one of the most successful artists in all the music benchmark in any artist’s career. An astounding one-third of these songs eligible for major single release also achieved hit song status at Country radio, while more than 20 million of his albums have been sold worldwide. While it’s well-known that Black is an accomplished singer and guitarist, people may be surprised to learn that he is also proficient on drums and harmonica.
Black’s continued success can be attributed in part to his deep sense of Country music history, and his humble gratitude in being an important part of it. The 1989 debut of his critically acclaimed fan favorite, the Triple Platinum Killin’ Time, marked a shift in the industry, with a return to the more traditional sounds of the genre. CMT lists this album as one of the 100 Greatest Albums in Country Music. Released while Black was still an unknown Texas-based artist and writer, Killin’ Time boasted five #1 hits – unprecedented from a debut album in any genre – and won Black a collection of awards that included: Country Music Association Horizon Award, Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, American Music Awards Favorite New Male Country Artist, Academy of Country Music Best New Male Vocalist, Academy of Country Music Best Male Vocalist, Academy of Country Music Album of the Year (Killin’ Time), and Academy of Country Music Single of the Year (“A Better Man”).