Rascal Flatts and Jessica Simpson coming to JPJ
Four of country music's prettiest faces will soon grace the Jumbotrons of John Paul Jones Arena. Grammy-winning trio Rascal Flatts will headline at the JPJ on Thursday, January 29, at 8pm, and opening the festivities will be none other than former MTV reality star and current paparazzi quarry Jessica Simpson. Tickets for the double-bill go on sale at 10am next Saturday, November 15.
Vocalist Gary LeVox (n© Gary Wayne Vernon), bassist Jay DeMarcus, and guitarist Joe Don Rooney formed the group in Nashville in 1999, and it didn't take long for their polished harmonies and power-pop sound to catch that town's ear. Only a year after forming, their debut single "Prayin' for Daylight" reached #3 on the Billboard country charts. The buzz of that radio hit, as well as subsequent top 10 hits "This Everyday Love," "While You Loved Me," and "I'm Movin' On," moved 2 million copies of their debut album. Their 2002 follow-up Melt capitalized on that success with incredible staying power. They had their first #1 hit, "These Days," and scored three more singles that reached #3 or higher over the course of the next two years.
None of this, however, could have anticipated the avalanche that was Feels Like Today. It sold 5 million copies (still their bestseller to date), reached #1 on the Billboard albums chart, spawned the platinum-selling #1 ballad "Bless the Broken Road," a second #1 hit with "Fast Cars and Freedom," and earned the group its first Grammy award for Best Country Song for "Bless the Broken Road." Since then, they've scored four more #1 country singles, two more albums that hit #1 on the Billboard albums chart, and have become one of country music's most consistently popular bands.
Jessica Simpson, while better known for her celebrity than her singing, has had no shortage of chart success. When she burst onto the scene in 1999, Simpson initially got lost in the shuffle amid fellow, more-popular blonde pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Then came her marriage to former member of boy band 98 Degrees Nick Lachey, their MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (in which Simpson famously wondered whether Chicken of the Sea tuna was chicken or fish, or why she's never seen any buffalo with wings). The show was a ratings smash and propelled Simpson's third album In This Skin to sell 3 million records and included her first and only #1 single "With You."
Sadly for MTV viewers, the Lachey-Simpson union didn't last and since their divorce in 2005, she's stayed on the covers of tabloids with high profile flings with singer-songwriter John Mayer, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the latter of which earned her the nickname "Yoko Romo" because the Cowboys lost both games Simpson attended in 2007, including their playoff game against the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Apparently Romo may have equally jinxed Simpson. Since their fling, Simpson has failed to sell more than a million copies of her albums A Public Affair or Do You Know.