Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Welcomes a Daughter

12/18/2010 at 06:00 PM EST

Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts Welcomes a Daughter
Jay and Allison DeMarcus
Rick Diamond/WireImage
Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus had to cancel his session in a Nashville
 recording studio with iCarly's Jennette McCurdy on Friday but he had a very good excuse.

His first child, Madeline Leigh DeMarcus, came into the world at 4:49 p.m., 
three weeks before her due date.

Mom Allison DeMarcus, a former Miss 
Tennessee and CMT personality, is doing great, Jay tells PEOPLE in an interview, and the 6 lb., 9 oz. baby
 with a full head of dark curls "is tiny, but perfect in every way!
 I'm just kissing her little face off."





Madeline Leigh puts Jay in the Rascal Flatts' Dads Club with bandmates Joe 
Don Rooney and Gary LeVox, both experienced fathers of two.



"Gary told me to
 strap in and hold on for the wildest ride of my life," said the tired but 
happy dad. "I didn't get much sleep last night. I kept waking up and 
thinking 'Oh my gosh, I'm a father!"





The couple, who met when Allison appeared in a Rascal Flatts video and
 married in 2004, started thinking of baby names as soon as they found out 
they were having a girl.

"Picking a name for a girl was hard. There are so 
many beautiful names, and so many pretty combinations. Leigh is Ali's middle
 name, and we just loved Madeline, though I'm already calling her Maddy."





While Mom and Maddie rested in the hospital, Dad went back to the studio to
 contribute vocals to McCurdy's upcoming debut country album.


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