Formed in Columbus, Ohio, in 1999, the Rascal Flatts is an American country music trio that has had hits crossing over the pop market. The group consists of three equally talented artists: lead vocalist Gary LeVox, bassist Jay DeMarcus, and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. In fact, LeVox and DeMarcus are cousins and Rooney is their close friend. Throughout their career, Rascal Flatts has produced a number of hits that boomed not only in the country music charts but also in popular music.
Today, the lead guitarist, Gary LeVox, turns a year older (48 years old). We at the Country Thang Daily are one with Gary in celebrating his special day. Let us know more about him.
A Star is Born: Gary LeVox, 1/3 of Rascal Flatts
Gary LeVox was born with the real name Gary Wayne Vernon, Jr. on July 10, 1970, in Columbus, Ohio. He is popularly known as a country-pop singer-songwriter and the lead vocalist of the trio Rascal Flatts. His stage name was derived from the studio-console label for his lead-vocal track.
As a child, LeVox was very much enticed singing in church. At the age of eight, he performed his first musical in a play in his church. After graduating from Ohio State University, he was prompted by his cousin, Jay DeMarcus, to move to Nashville, Tennessee, in order to expand more on his talent. In 1997, LeVox and DeMarcus started out together in Chely Wright’s band. This event led them to meeting the would-be guitarist of the Rascal Flatts, Joe Don Rooney. Immediately, they felt a connection playing music together. this lead to creating their own band in 1999.
As a matter of fact, Rooney told People Magazine in an interview in 2006:
“We’re not just business partners, we are good friends. That’s why we have had the longevity we have.”
LeVox Before the Limelight
Years before Gary LeVox set foot on the country music stage, he started as an employee in a local burger store. Throughout time, he worked for himself and became independent from his family.
LeVox has been friends with American actor, singer-songwriter and record producer Jamie Foxx since the mid-1990s. Foxx was one of the people who inspired and helped LeVox before finding his limelight with the Rascal Flatts. In fact, in 2007, Foxx appeared as a guest on the Rascal Flatts’ fifth studio album, Still Feels Good.
In an interview, LeVox recalled:
“We used to sit around for hours at Jamie’s house, singing and playing and having a good time…So when Jay and Joe and myself wrote this song, we thought it would be great to have him on it. I called him up just to say, ‘Hey, man, you’ve got to hear this song. I think you could really, really kill it.’ He said, ‘Tell you what. I’ll sing on your record if you guys will sing on mine.’ I said, ‘All right.’”
In 1999, LeVox married his sweetheart Tara Vernon. They met backstage at a gospel festival concert. They were blessed with two daughters. In 2011, he revealed that it was love at first sight. He said:
“I knew at that moment that I was looking at my future wife. It was the weirdest thing ever.”
As a tribute to the lead vocalist, Gary LeVox, watch and listen to the Rascal Flatts’ debut single “Prayin’ For Daylight” below:
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