Ridden by rumors of discord since his band announced their farewell tour, bassist Jay DeMarcus assures that their upcoming split was not a decision they reached lightly.

AceShowbiz - Country music stars Rascal Flatts faced a "very tough decision" to retire as a trio because the love they share for one another is stronger than ever.

Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus recently announced they would be calling it quits as a band after a farewell tour this summer, and the singers are keen to make it clear the upcoming split isn't due to any in-fighting.

Asked about the social media rumours during a special Country Music Association event in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, February 19, DeMarcus assured fans, "That's really not the case. We love each other, probably more now than we ever did when we first started. We just got to this point in the road where it's forking and we're entering new seasons of our lives."

He added, "This is a decision that we didn't reach lightly. It was a very tough decision and is going to be a very sad, bittersweet year, but it's something we think is the best for our lives right now. We still all get along. We didn't arrive in separate vehicles."

The "Here Comes Goodbye" hitmakers are set to begin their final run of shows in June, and they are already dreading the waterworks that will inevitably occur during their last scheduled concert, which will take place in Nashville in October.

"It's going to be really, really sad and it's going to be emotional," DeMarcus shared. "This time next year when there's no tour planned and I can't look over to my right and see my cousin (Gary) and Joe Don standing next to me, it's going to be (tough)..."

"This has been the (biggest) part of my life for most of my adult life. So it's going to be a really sad thing. That's all I can say."

Sharing his thanks to fans for their 20 years of support, Rooney added, "We've been one of the fortunate ones to do this for a very long time. It'll be so bittersweet to play that last note on guitar and hear that last note down low on bass, hear Gary hit the stratosphere."

"There's so much love and so much appreciation for everything we've gotten to do. It's going to be an exciting year. It's going to be a heavy year. It's going to be, I think, an amazing journey this year of all the years we've been together. And I don't know how I'm gonna feel (at the final show)... There's a lot to be thankful for."

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