A day that should have been filled with champagne toasts and fine cigars is a little more bittersweet for country music supergroup Rascal Flatts and hit country singer-songwriter Jonathan Singleton. The chart-topping success of the trio’s newest No. 1 single, “Yours If You Want It,” is being marked without the presence of their dear friend and co-writer, Andrew Dorff.
Andrew was a staple in Nashville’s songwriting family, as well known for his quick, dry wit and the halo of smoke emitted from his omnipresent stogies as he was for his hit songs like Blake Shelton’s “My Eyes” and “Neon Light,” and Kenny Chesney’s “Save It for a Rainy Day.” Last December, just before the Christmas holiday, he passed away while vacationing in Turks & Caicos. At just 40 years old, his untimely passing rocked the country music community to its core.
Now all of that heartbreak is revisited as Andrew’s co-writers and friends try to figure out how to celebrate the first No. 1 since his death. For now, fellow songwriters, artists and industry peers are taking to social media to share an array of emotions, many using a favorite image of the writer.
Longtime pal Ryan Hurd was also feeling the absence of his friend.
The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston admittedly, “Went down the @endorffin rabbit hole” listening to songs that Andrew wrote. He chose one of the more poignant ones, Ronnie Dunn’s “Bleed Red,” from which to share a few lyrics, as well as personal photos.
Went down the @endorffin rabbit hole tonight … this one tore me up pretty good … I'm listening to your songs in my bunk buddy. "Let's say were sorry, Before it's too late, Give forgiveness a chance Turn the anger into water Let it slip through our hands We all bleed red, We all taste rain, All fall down, Lose our way, We all say words we regret, We all cry tears, we all bleed red If we're fighting, we're both losing, We're just wasting our time Because my scars, They are your scars and your world is mine You and I, we all bleed red, We all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way We all say words, we regret, We all cry tears, we all bleed red Sometimes we're strong, sometimes we're weak, Sometimes we're hurt and it cuts deep We live this life, breath to breath, We're all the same, we all bleed red
Andrew’s “Yours If You Want It” co-writer and artist, Jonathan Singleton, summed up most of Music Row’s feelings with his Instagram post. He shared the same striking image and wrote, simply, “Not sure how to feel today. Me and my buddy finally got a No. 1.”
Rascal Flatts honored Andrew in the video for “Yours If You Want It” by tagging it with a remembrance in the closing credit, but they also thanked the late songwriter for charging them with his legacy.
#YoursIfYouWantIt is #1! Country Radio and Flattheads, thank you so very much! We love you guys. This song was so special to us, Andrew Dorff, his entire family and @jdsingleton12. We truly believe that this song found us, and to know that Andrew Dorff, with his passing, loved what we did with the song and that his legacy continues to live on is a blessing. It was yours if you wanted it…and you made it. Thanks for our 17th #1!
Rascal Flatts, Jonathan, the record label and music industry VIPS will officially celebrate this accomplishment at a later date. But for now, we join the rest of the music community in remembering this remarkable writer.