Wright Gets Top Marks as Boss Lady

CMA Horizon Award nominee Chely Wright is a pretty fair boss, according to two of her former employees. Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, two-thirds of new hit trio Rascal Flatts, cut their teeth in Nashville as part of Wright’s road band. “She was one of the best people, boss or not,” DeMarcus said recently. “She didn’t really make you feel like you were working for anybody.” Wright actually introduced DeMarcus and Rooney, who eventually recruited Rooney’s cousin, Gary LeVox, to form Rascal Flatts. “After we got our record deal [with Lyric Street], we still played with her through the whole year while we were working on our album,” Rooney said. “She would plug us at shows onstage. She’d go, ‘They’re going to have a group, Rascal Flatts, and they’re coming out next year.’” The promotion seems to have paid off. The trio’s first single, “Prayin’ for Daylight,” made it to No. 3 on the Billboard country singles chart. Wright says she’s thrilled with the group’s success right out of the box. “To watch that happen has been a great thing,” she told country.com. “All of my band members, if they ever leave me, I want them to go on to something bigger, and they certainly have.”