Country stars Rascal Flatts gets a dose of Justin Bieber fever

rascal-flatts-dec-2010.jpg Rascal Flatts has done their share of collaborations lately, but Justin Bieber certainly isn't their most obvious partner.

The award-winning country-music group known for such hits as "Bless the Broken Road" and "These Days" has teamed with the teen superstar -- whose "Never Say Never" 3-D docu-concert movie opens nationwide this weekend -- on "That Should Be Me," one of the cuts on Bieber's "Never Say Never: The Remixes" album that gets a Valentine's Day release Monday (Feb. 14).

"It was something unexpected for us," Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox tells Zap2it. "I guess he put a book out where he was talking about influences in his career, and he had mentioned us. Of course, anything Justin Bieber does or says gets all over the place: 'Justin sneezed today at Baskin-Robbins!'

"They called and said, 'Justin is such a huge fan, he'd love to do this with you.' We listened to the song and loved it, so we went in there and knocked it out, and it really came out great. Justin isn't just another fly-by-night pop star. He's super-talented; he's a writer and he plays drums and he plays acoustic and electric. He's really musically gifted."

Jamie Foxx and Natasha Bedingfield have been among other recording-mates of LeVox and his Rascal Flatts partners, Jay DeMarcus (a second cousin of LeVox) and Joe Don Rooney. If the trio enlarges their already huge fan base through their new Bieber connection, that'll be fine with them.

"I think that's great for country music," LeVox reflects. "Some of the things we've gotten do in our career, like having the song 'Life Is a Highway' in the movie 'Cars,' have brought fans who may have never listened to country before over to the format."

After switching record labels and parting with their longtime managers, Rascal Flatts will headline an ABC special named for their latest album "Nothing Like This" Saturday, March 12. LeVox says he wouldn't mind having the group represented on television in another way, too ... with their music featured on FOX's "Glee."

"I've wondered about that," says the native of Columbus, Ohio. "When I was in high school, I did concert choir, then I did show choir where we sang and danced pretty much like 'Glee.' I've been waiting and wondering if we would get a call to do something with them. Those kids are really talented."
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