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Country News

Rascal Flatts Once Passed on a Song That Later Became a Hit for Jason Aldean

todayApril 27, 2022 2

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In the 20 years since Rascal Flatts became a band, the country trio has had plenty of hits to their name, including beloved classics including “Bless the Broken Road,” “Life is a Highway” and “My Wish.” But that doesn’t mean that a song or two hasn’t slipped through the cracks.

In fact, the band’s Gary LeVox tells Audacy’s Katie & Company that Rascal Flatts once had the chance to record a song that would go on to be a big hit for Jason Aldean — and they opted not to cut it.

“”Fly Over States,”” LeVox admits, explaining that the band had gotten the chance to cut that song because it was written by Neil Thrasher, a frequent collaborator for the trio and one who had a hand in penning several other hit songs for them.

“So he always pitched me stuff first, and of course, I passed on it,” the Flatts singer says regretfully.

“Fly Over States” was actually one of two songs that Thrasher pitched first to Rascal Flatts before taking them to Aldean. The second was “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” which eventually became a hit duet between Aldean and Kelly Clarkson.

“Well, that one, too. But we had just cut that song “Easy,” with Natasha Bedingfield. So when Neil pitched that, I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t have two duets,'” LeVox continues. “That one I didn’t pass on — we just couldn’t, because we’d already done the song with Natasha.”

Of course, hindsight’s 20/20, but LeVox admits that he wishes he’d thought twice before passing on “Fly Over States.” The song became Aldean’s seventh career No. 1 hit in 2012, and it landed inside the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 40 in addition to topping country charts. “Fly Over States” was also ultimately certified platinum.

“Yeah, I get a bunch of grief from [Thrasher],” jokes the singer.

Rascal Flatts officially disbanded — at least, for the time being — at the end of 2020, with the three members retiring from the group in order to pursue separate career paths. For LeVox, that means embarking on a solo Christian project: In May 2021, he released his One on One EP, a five-song project featuring a number of special guests.

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Written by: Carena Liptak

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