OFFSTAGE: Rascal Flatts on “Billy Ray Shelton”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

This is why I love Chelsea Handler. She’s the only kind of talk show host who could get Rascal Flatts to make (good-natured) fun of Blake Shelton. During the band’s Monday night (Nov. 19) appearance on Chelsea Lately , she asked them if they felt like they were responsible for Shelton’s success since he’d been their opener earlier in his career. “Absolutely,” said Gary LeVox. “Every ounce of it.” But then Jay DeMarcus was the one who claimed responsibility for getting Shelton to move around more onstage and cut his “nasty-ass hair.” Referring to Shelton’s career-launching mullet, LeVox said, “It was like Billy Ray Shelton for a long time.” Handler also talked with the Flatts men about hunting, fatherhood, Joe Don Rooney’s “blond” hair and the band’s new All Access & Uncovered DVD.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.