"And not look at how much it costs," the country trio's lead singer says after a decade of success

By Eileen Finan
February 05, 2010 01:05 PM
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

What do 20 million in album sales and a decade of success get you? For the members of Rascal Flatts, it’s mostly peace of mind – oh, and a full gas tank.

“For me, the coolest thing is just being able to fill up my gas tank and not look at how much it costs,” says the trio’s lead singer Gary LeVox, 39, of his favorite perk of fame. “Half my life, I’d be digging around going, ‘I can get 6 dollars and 30 cents of gas.’ And if you fill it to $6.31, you’re picking up floor mats and looking in the trunk.”

LeVox and his bandmates, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, spoke to PEOPLE at a party in Nashville Wednesday celebrating the band’s 10-year anniversary and honoring the writers of their 11 No. 1 songs.
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Reflecting on their great success, Rooney, 34, says for him the simple things are the best reward. “It’s cool just being able to go out to dinner with friends and family and foot the bill,” he says.

For DeMarcus, 38, the highlight is a bit more rock star. “The best thing is walking downstairs into my home recording studio. Sometimes when I’m not even using it, I’ll walk down and turn the light on and stand there and just thank God.”

But, they note that there have been ugly moments along the road to success – notably in the wardrobe department.

“Some of the things we wore early on still haunt us to this day,” says DeMarcus. “I had a red turtleneck on in our first video [Prayin’ for Daylight] that I’ll probably regret for the rest of my life.”

Adds LeVox: “I had this black pleather jacket that someone didn’t think was shiny enough, so I think they Turtle Waxed it and just buffed it out. But I thought I was bangin’, baby! I couldn’t move, but I was like, ‘Look at me!’ ”