A native of
Columbus, Ohio, DeMarcus moved to Nashville in 1992 to find work as a musician. In 1997, he convinced his second cousin LeVox, also of Columbus, to come to Nashville to pursue a career as a singer.
DeMarcus met Joe Don Rooney, a native of Picher, Okla., when they both got jobs in Chely Wright's band. Meanwhile, DeMarcus and LeVox were gigging in a Nashville bar with a part-time guitarist. When their guitarist couldn't make it to a show one weekend, DeMarcus invited Rooney to sit in. Happy with the resulting sound, they recorded some demos and signed with a Disney imprint, Lyric Street.
Beginning in early 2000, they sent three glossy, pop-flavored songs into the Top 10: "Prayin' for Daylight," "This Everyday Love" and "While You Loved Me." Though held in contempt by traditionalists, the trio sold more than 500,000 albums. A late-blooming fourth single, "I'm Movin' On," reached a more mature audience, propelling their self-titled debut album to platinum status and spawning an inspirational book of the same name.
"These Days," the first single from their 2002 album Melt, hit No. 1. They also won the CMA Horizon Award in 2002 and toured heavily with Toby Keith. In 2003, they won their first Vocal Group of the Year award from the CMA. The trio also caused a ruckus that year when Rooney appeared naked from behind in their music video, "I Melt." The follow-up single, "Mayberry," reached No. 1 in 2004. That same year, DeMarcus married Allison Alderson.
In early 2005, the band's album Feels Like Today picked up steam, due to the single, "Bless the Broken Road," which held on to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's country airplay chart for five weeks. The song also won a Grammy for country song, an award given to the songwriters. Feels Like Today ended up becoming the top-selling country album of 2005, even though it was released a year earlier. It also included the hits "Skin (Sarabeth)" and "Fast Cars and Freedom."
In 2006, the trio released "Me and My Gang" and played for more than a million fans on their tour. Hits from the album include "What Hurts the Most," the title track and "I Wish." That same year, Rooney married Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon. They also had a country hit with "Life Is a Highway," from the animated movie, Cars. They also won their fourth CMA vocal group award in 2006.