Joe Don Rooney is attempting to correct the record. On Wednesday, January 3, the former singer and guitarist for Rascal Flatts used his X (formerly Twitter) account to “send a message out to the world” about his health, his recent sobriety, and the rumors that he is transitioning.
I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted on any socials. It’s actually been a couple years since I’ve engaged with fans and friends on Twitter (now X) or Instagram.— JDR (@JoeDonRooney) January 3, 2024
But I figured today, at the beginning of this brand new year 2024, would be a good day to send a message out…
Rooney covered a lot of ground in his long update, including his sobriety journey, relationships, the crash that “almost killed” him in 2021, and the DUI arrest that followed, as well as an official declaration refuting the idea that he is transgender.
What did Joe Don Rooney say in his X missive?
Joe Don Rooney penned a lengthy message for his fans on X.
“First off, I am alive! There have been so many rumors and opinions thrown around about me – but I’m finally healthy and ready for the world. And NO, I’m not transitioning to be a woman,” he wrote. “That thought has never entered my mind. Nothing against the trans community whatsoever but I needed to set the record straight.”
Rooney continued, sharing details of his drinking, issues he had with alcohol, and the vehicle accident on September 9, 2021, which he said was a wake-up call for him to change his lifestyle.
“My life and career took a major detour at 4 in the early morning hours of Sep 9, 2021, when I ran square into a tree and about killed myself. I was drunk, and I was so far gone with my life – I was completely out of control and finished with trying to fight the fears, depression, and anxieties that had spun me out in a way I’ve never experienced before,” he said.
According to the 48-year-old, “drinking has been an issue for many years – and as they say in AA and treatment, it’s a progressive disease.”
“I am living proof that the progressive nature of drinking can ratchet up and as I grew older as an adult, my drinking grew worse,” he admitted. “I was not a good father – I was not a good husband – and I was not a good bandmate to my business partners. I probably would’ve never taken responsibility for any of this if it hadn’t been for my car wreck on September 9, 2021.”
He credits his faith in God and the awful car wreck for ultimately inspiring his sobriety journey. “That event led me to treatment for my alcoholism for 4 months in the beautiful mountains of Utah. The country music artist claimed that during his therapy, he felt so “ashamed” of himself and that it took him months to comprehend the new skills that patients, counselors, therapists, and AA had given him.
But before he realized it, he might live a completely different kind of life.
“My life has been changed forever – and I’m grateful for the change. I’ve been sober now for almost 28 months, come this Jan 13,” he shared. “I never believed I could actually live my life without drinking. It had become such a huge part of my daily and nightly routine. I had tried to stop on my own in the past but the powerful nature of alcohol always found its way back into my life.”
Rooney concluded with an uplifting note, explaining he has “new healthy boundaries for the first time in my life,” and that “only positive, loving, caring, and understanding people may enter.”
“It’s an absolute blessing in ways I can barely put into proper words,” he added.
“Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers. I promise you, I’ve felt them all, and I’m super appreciative,” Rooney concluded. “Here’s to making the best of 2024 and living our most healthiest, happiest, and goal-oriented lives ever!!”