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12 Years Ago: Rascal Flatts Ride to No. 1 With ‘Bless the Broken Road’

Rascal Flatts Bless the Broken Road
Lyric Street

Twelve years ago today (Feb. 12, 2005), Rascal Flatts scored their third No. 1 hit with “Bless the Broken Road.” The song, from their Feels Like Today album, also became their first platinum-selling tune.

“Bless the Broken Road” was written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna in 1994 and was previously recorded by Hanna’s Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Hummon and country artist Melodie Crittenden — but it was the Flatts that made it one of the biggest hits in music.

“Rascal Flatts toyed with recording it on their first album, and they put it on hold for their second album,” Hanna tells The Boot. “It had over 150 holds, and it got to be a running gag with us. In 2004, Brooks & Dunn had it on hold, and they were about to cut it, and I found out Rascal Flatts finally cut it. Then we got a call that said, ‘Not only did we cut your song, but it’s the next single!'”

“Bless the Broken Road” spent five weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and came in at No. 3 on the 2005 year-end Country Songs chart as well. The song won a Grammy for Best Country Song and helped Feels Like Today sell more than 5 million copies. The Flatts still include the tune in all of their shows — and they still love it.

“There’s been people getting engaged at so many shows — guys with big signs, or their friend says something to get Gary [LeVox]’s attention. People get engaged right there on the spot. It’s so cool; it’s such a life-changer for so many people out there,” Joe Don Rooney tells The Boot. “I don’t know if people realize just how impacted we are by that. It’s so cool that we’re seeing something so profound to so many people.”

Rascal Flatts included “Bless the Broken Road” on their Greatest Hits Volume 1 album in 2010. It is available for download on iTunes.

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