A Platinum-Plus Party for Rascal Flatts

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Although Rascal Flatts ’ second album, Melt, was certified platinum (for shipment of a million copies) within five weeks of its Oct. 29 release, it wasn’t until this week that the busy Lyric Street Records trio could take time off to celebrate the achievement. The party was held Tuesday (Feb. 25) at Lyric Street’s new Nashville headquarters on Demonbreun Street.

Lyric Street president Randy Goodman told the revelers that Melt shipments now total 1.2 million copies and that Rascal Flatts, the group’s first album, has so far sold more than 1.5 million units. Quoting Duke Ellington’s phrase, Goodman proclaimed that Rascal Flatts’ music is “beyond category.”

Before presenting platinum plaques to members Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, Goodman gave them each a gag gift — a half CD with a stick-on backing. He told them they could attach these indications of increased sales to the platinum plaques the label had already awarded them for Rascal Flatts. He explained that the measure was in keeping with the generally depressed economy on Music Row.

“We’re just the voices of all of you who work behind us,” said LeVox in accepting his plaque. Added DeMarcus, “The fun part is knowing all the songwriters and the others who made this possible.” Among the contributing songwriters to Melt who attended the party were Marcus Hummon and Anthony Smith.

Goodman said he had spent some enjoyable time on the road recently with the group and invited the members of its road band to come forward and be recognized. Others who were recognized and awarded plaques were Melt co-producers Mark Bright and Marty Williams and managers Trey Turner and Doug Nichols.

Praising Rascal Flatts’ hard work and spirit of cooperation, Turner told the crowd, “It’s sometimes ludicrous what we ask them to do.” “You ain’t lyin’,” quipped LeVox.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.