"Bless the Broken Road" is one of Rascal Flatts' most successful songs, having gone to No. 1 and earned its writers a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. According to the band, it was almost a song they didn't record. Speaking to PopCulture.com and other media last month, band members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney shared that they initially passed on the ballad, but took another look at it for their 2004 album Feels Like Today.
"We passed on it on the record before," LeVox recalled. "And we were just like, 'Well, we've got enough ballads and all that.' Who would've thought known that it was that big, but it's one of those things you hear it and you go, 'Yeah. It's really good,' but I don't know if we knew the realm of how giant that was."
"And then I think Jay said, 'You remember that song that we got pitched?' When we were doing the record that it was on. 'Remember that song we got pitched, that ballad, I think it was 'Broken,'" he continued. "I think he might've had it and the demo or whatever."
"I was cleaning up the car and found the disc," DeMarcus said as Rooney joked, "The good old days."
"Bless the Broken Road" was written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd, and Jeff Hanna in 1994 and was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that year, followed by Hummon in 1995 before Rascal Flatts picked it up in 2004. The country trio's version of the song became the highest-charting to date, spending five weeks at number one on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts and earning a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
DeMarcus added that for him, the song takes on a different meaning and reminds him of the paths Rascal Flatts' members took early in their careers before finding each other. "'Bless the Broken Road' always, always hits me right in the heart every time I hear it, because there are so many things that are parallel in my own life to that lyric," he said. "I feel like in a lot of ways Gary, Joe Don, and myself, all of our broken roads led us to each other. We all had to go through our own journey to get to where we are in Rascal Flatts.
"And Lord knows I did one heck of a job trying to screw everything up that I had going on before Rascal Flatts ever happened in my own life," he continued. "And so I had a lot to get through a lot, to overcome a lot in my own life to get to where I am with these guys. And I feel like every time we sing that song, I reflect on what it took to bring the three of us together."