Lady Antebellum Discuss Adele, Houston, Swift at Grammys

Trio's Own the Night Wins for Best Country Album

Lady Antebellum claimed their seventh career Grammy on Sunday night (Feb. 12) , yet they spent much of their time in the pressroom praising their musical friends and heroes, including Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift and Adele.

The band’s latest album, Own the Night, received the honor for best country album. It was the only country category presented during the televised portion of the show.

In the pressroom, they were first asked for their response to Houston’s death. Hillary Scott responded with her memories of growing up with Houston’s music.

“I remember sitting in my room and playing her records and learning how to sing — not near as great because she’s one in a million — but learning to sing and figure out how to do runs to her songs,” Scott said.

“I loved The Bodyguard soundtrack. I would listen to that all the time. I admired her and her craft. It’s a God-given gift. And it’s just tragic. I said it earlier that there’s a hole in the heart of music now. And I don’t know if it can be ever filled because she was so unique and amazing. We will miss her.”

After that, a reporter inquired about the band’s songwriting inspirations.

“I think [it's] everything — the stuff we all go through,” Charles Kelley noted. “Obviously, what we usually write about revolves around love. We don’t know how to change the world. We write about love lost and love gained. Right now we’re all in a really great spot. Hillary just got married, Dave got engaged and I’ve been married.”

“Still married!” interjected Dave Haywood.

“Still married, but I was the first one to be married,” Kelley added. “It just feels like we’re growing even closer as a band and becoming even more comfortable to talk about the things that maybe on the first couple of records we wouldn’t talk about. So hopefully we’ll keep growing. I think we would all say that we feel the most proud of this third record. Whether it equals the success of Need You Now as a record as a whole, we feel really proud of it.”

At last year’s ceremony, Lady Antebellum won five Grammys. Their hit single, “Need You Now,” won record of the year, song of the year, best country performance by a duo or group with vocals and best country song. In addition, their Need You Now project earned best country album. Meanwhile, the trio’s first Grammy came a year earlier as “I Run to You” won for best country performance by a duo or group with vocals.

Because of their past success, Kelley told reporters he didn’t expect to win anything this year.

“We did think it was going to be Taylor’s night,” he said. “She had won a couple going into it in the pre-telecast. Honestly, everybody likes to say ‘shocked,’ but we truly did not feel like we had a chance this year simply because last year was so life-changing. We were like, ‘OK, this year, it’s nice to be nominated.’ I did think Taylor was going to take it, and she would have deserved it.”

Asked for their advice for teenagers who are eyeing a career in music, Kelley said, “Go for it! Dave and I moved to Nashville. We graduated college and worked for a year, and it kind of took getting out there and waking up every day, not wanting to wake up. It’s something special to wake up and love what you do. I think everybody owes it to themselves to give that a shot. It may not work out. We, every day, feel blessed that it did. But you have to give it a shot, or you’ll always look back and regret it.”

Haywood added, “Stay in school, too! We definitely don’t regret that.”

At the end of the Q&A session, Lady Antebellum fielded a question about their desire to work with the night’s top winner, Adele, the soulful British singer-songwriter who received six Grammys.

“We gave her the record of the year award, and we saw her down below, where you walk underneath the stage, and gave her a hug,” Scott said. “We actually had met her before [at] Artists of the Year for CMT, and she and Darius Rucker performed ‘Need You Now’ for us. We were surprised and we had no idea. She holds such a special place in our hearts.

“We were huge fans of her before this huge year that she’s had. She’s just a beautiful, genuine soul and musical,” Scott continued. “So if you’re listening, we would love it! We would love to collaborate with her. It would be amazing.”

View photos from the 54th annual Grammy Awards.