When an artist scores a No.1 song, the occasion is usually one filled with excitement and energy. Rascal Flatts, however, took a somewhat different approach to the celebration for their 17th No.1 smash, “Yours If You Want It,” as one of the songwriters, Andrew Dorff, passed away just before the release of the song.
The celebration, hosted on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 17) in the lobby of the BMI building in Nashville, was one everyone described as bittersweet, but also uplifting, as members of the country music community celebrated the legacy Dorff left behind. While Dorff wasn’t there physically to celebrate, he was remembered fondly by everyone who had the opportunity to work with him.
“‘Yours If You Want It’ is just a really incredible song, first and foremost, and the story behind the song is even more powerful,” explained the band’s Joe Don Rooney in a press conference before the event. “We recorded the song before December. He and Jonathan Singleton wrote it and Allison Jones at Big Machine pitched it to us. We loved the song from day one. Luckily, with Andrew before he passed, I believe it was Jay who got a call from Allison at her office with Jonathan and Andrew there, listening to the recording we made of the song and they were just elated. They loved it. It was 100% him. He was so warm and sweet with his words about us. From there, we just felt like that was the song to go with for the first single.”
During the celebration, Rooney, Jay DeMarcus, Gary Levox and many of the publishers that knew him sported shirts with Dorff’s signature look, dark sunglasses and a cigar. Also sporting the attire was his dad, songwriter Steve Dorff, and brother, actor Stephen Dorff, who dabbed their eyes throughout the entirety of the afternoon. The eldest Dorff took a moment on stage to thank those who spoke so highly of his late son.
“Thank you all for being here. Andrew loved this town, loved everybody here, and he loved Jonathan,” he shared. “I just want to thank BMI and your whole staff for bringing this all the way home, and Rascal Flatts for making an absolutely perfect record. Thank you.”
Rascal Flatts’s new single, “Back to Us,” will hit country radio soon. The song is the title track from the group’s 10th studio album, Back to Us, out now.