No, Joe Don Rooney is not transgender. The Rascal Flatts guitarist addressed rumors about transitioning in a social media post, clarifying that such thoughts have never crossed his mind. He emphasized his respect for the transgender community but affirmed the inaccuracy of the speculation surrounding his gender identity.
Who is Joe Don Rooney?
Joe Don Rooney was born on September 13, 1975, in Baxter Springs, Kansas, and grew up in Picher, Oklahoma. He started playing guitar at the age of six and formed his first band, Uncle Thumbtack, in 1992. He also played in Chely Wright’s band before joining Rascal Flatts in 1999.
Rascal Flatts was one of the most successful country music groups of the 2000s and 2010s, selling over 27 million albums and winning numerous awards, including three Grammys, 14 ACM Awards, and 10 CMA Awards. The group consisted of Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus, who are also second cousins. Some of their hit songs include “Bless the Broken Road”, “What Hurts the Most”, “My Wish”, and “Life Is a Highway”. The group announced their farewell tour in 2020, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They officially disbanded in 2021.
Rooney married former beauty queen and Playboy model Tiffany Fallon on April 23, 2006. She was Miss Georgia USA in 2001 and the 2005 Playmate of the Year. The couple have three children: son Jagger Donovan Rooney (born in 2008) and daughters Raquel Blue Rooney (born in 2010) and Devon Olivia Rooney (born in 2014). The couple separated in 2021 and their divorce was finalized in 2023.
Rooney has struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse for several years, which affected his marriage, family, and career. He was arrested and charged with DUI in September 2021 after crashing his vehicle into a tree line in Franklin, Tennessee. He pleaded guilty in June 2022 and was sentenced to two days in jail and the loss of his driver’s license. He also spent $315,800 on a four-month stay at a luxury rehab center in Utah, where he allegedly had an affair with another patient.
Rooney has been sober for almost 28 months as of January 2024. He credits God, his family, and his clinical advisors for helping him recover and change his life. He also has new healthy boundaries and only allows positive, loving, caring, and understanding people in his life.
As a member of Rascal Flatts, Rooney has released 11 studio albums, two live albums, one compilation album, and 37 singles. The group has had 17 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and six No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. Their albums have been certified platinum or higher by the RIAA, with their 2004 album Feels Like Today being their best-selling one with over 5 million copies sold.
As a solo artist, Rooney has not released any albums or singles, but he has collaborated with other artists such as Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban. He has also produced songs for Dylan Brady, a rising country singer whom he signed to an artist development deal in 2016.
Is Joe Don Rooney Transgender?
In late 2023, rumors began to circulate on social media that Rooney was transgender and transitioning to be a woman. The rumors were based on his absence from the public eye, his appearance in some photos, and some fake news articles. Some fans even created a hashtag #JoeDonRooneyIsTrans to show their support or curiosity.
However, these rumors are completely untrue and have no basis in reality. Rooney is not transgender and has never considered transitioning to be a woman. He has nothing against the trans community, but he felt the need to set the record straight and clear his name.
Setting the Record Straight
On January 3, 2024, Rooney posted a long message on X (formerly Twitter) to address the rumors and explain his hiatus from the spotlight. He wrote:
NO, I’m not transitioning to be a woman. That thought has never entered my mind. Nothing against the trans community whatsoever but I needed to set the record straight.
He then revealed that he had been focusing on his sobriety and recovery after his DUI arrest and car crash in 2021, which he described as a major detour in his life and career. He admitted that he was drunk and out of control and that he had tried to stop drinking on his own in the past, but failed. He said that he was lucky to survive the crash and that he believed God led him into the tree to save him and wake him up.
He also shared that he went to a rehab center in Utah for four months, where he learned to live without alcohol and drugs. He said that he never believed he could do it, but that he was now almost 28 months sober and grateful for his new life. He thanked God, his family, and his clinical advisors for their support and guidance. He also said that he had new healthy boundaries and only allowed positive people in his life.
He ended his message by saying:
Now, I need to protect my family and protect my sobriety. I have new healthy boundaries for the first time in my life. Only positive, loving, caring & understanding people may enter.
He also posted a photo of himself smiling and holding a guitar, showing that he was happy and healthy.
Joe Don Rooney Net Worth
Joe Don Rooney has earned a substantial amount of money from his music career, both as a member of Rascal Flatts and as a solo artist. According to various sources, his estimated net worth is approximately $50 million as of 2024.
His main source of income has been the sales of his albums and singles, as well as the royalties from his songwriting and producing credits. He has also made money from touring, performing, and endorsing various brands and products. He has also invested in real estate and other ventures.
However, his net worth may have been affected by his divorce from Tiffany Fallon, his DUI arrest and legal fees, and his expensive rehab stay. He may also have to pay alimony and child support to his ex-wife and children.