Rascal Flatts Rock the White House

Rascal Flatts Rock the White House
Rascal Flatts (from left: Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney) at the White House on July 10
Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov

updated 07/11/2006 at 04:00 PM EDT

originally published 07/11/2006 05:00PM

When Rascal Flatts performed at a Presidential dinner for the Special Olympics Monday night, the band's Jay DeMarcus got the ultimate high-school troublemaker's revenge, banging away at the piano in the White House's East Room.

It turns out that DeMarcus, when he was on a school tour of the White House years earlier, got in trouble for sneaking past the velvet ropes and sitting at the piano. "And now I get to play on it – ha!" DeMarcus boasted to his VIP audience, which included the President and First Lady.

Added lead singer Gary LeVox, "You sound good playing in the White House legally!"

DeMarcus, LeVox and bandmate Joe Don Rooney were the featured entertainment at the black-tie dinner party celebrating the 85th birthday of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her work with Special Olympics.

President Bush and Laura Bush tapped their feet to the trio's music, while sitting behind them, Maria Shriver and her husband, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, mouthed the words to the group's hit "Bless the Broken Road."

Vanessa Williams, Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton and Barbara Walters were among the guests who dined on "chilled avocado soup with crispy shredded filo shrimp" and "potato-crusted Colorado lamb with rosemary-lemon coulis."

Still a troublemaker at heart, DeMarcus joked to the well-heeled group, "Was anyone else's soup cold?"

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