Along the way, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood have each gotten married, started families and learned to strike that delicate balance between career and home life. They’ve also strived to make the world a better place through the launch of LadyAID, an organization dedicated to helping children around the world.
The members of Lady Antebellum were recently presented with the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award at the Recording Academy’s Grammys on the Hill Awards.
“We are proud to honor Lady Antebellum for their artistry and inventiveness in the country arena as well as their philanthropic efforts to make a difference for disadvantaged children here and abroad,” stated Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow.
This spring, the talented trio continue on the Take Me Downtown tour, and fans can catch them on ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops airing May 20 on CBS.
Here’s a look at some of the prime hits that solidified the group’s status as country superstars.
“Love Don’t Live Here”
Though Lady Antebellum first emerged on Jim Brickman’s 2007 single “Never Alone,” their first foray to country radio was “Love Don’t Live Here,” a high energy hit that introduced fans to their amazing harmonies and impressive songwriting chops as Lady A’s three members co-wrote the tune. The lyric tells the tale of a lover who returns to the scene of a failed relationship to try to rekindle the flame, but her ex is having none of that and emphatically tells her he has moved on and “love don’t live here anymore.” The song peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s country songs chart and earned the trio a nomination at the 51st annual Grammy Awards for best country performance by a duo or group with vocals.
“I Run to You”
This gorgeous hit is the third and final single released from Lady Antebellum’s self-titled debut album and became the group’s first No. 1 when it topped the Billboard chart in July 2009. Lady A members Kelley, Scott and Haywood co-wrote the song with Tom Douglas, who is well known for penning such hits as Collin Raye’s “Little Rock” and Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.” The well-crafted lyric acknowledges the chaos in the world but celebrates the fact that love is always a safe haven. The song was named the Country Music Association’s single of the year in 2009 and also won a Grammy for best country performance by a duo or group with vocals.
“Need You Now”
Debuting on Billboard’s country songs chart on Aug. 29, 2009, this dramatic single raced up the chart to take the top spot on Nov. 28 and remained at the summit for five weeks, becoming the longest-running chart-topper of the trio’s career thus far. With Scott and Kelley trading lead vocals, the lyrics paint a portrait of two people still trying to come to terms with a failed relationship. Loneliness and alcohol make a dangerous cocktail as they contemplate seeing each other again in such potent lines as “It’s a quarter after 1, I’m all alone/And I said I wouldn’t call, but I’m a little drunk/And I need you now.” The trio wrote the song with Josh Kear and was the title track and lead single of their second album. The song extended beyond country radio to become a crossover pop hit in the U.S and was also a Top 5 hit in Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. “Need You Now” won four Grammys in 2011, including song of the year and record of the year, becoming the first country song to win both honors since 2007 and only the second ever to achieve that rare feat.
Lady Antebellum followed the success of “Need You Know” with another strong contender that hit the top of the chart for two weeks. Written by Cary Barlowe, Hillary Lindsey and Shane Stevens, the song features Scott delivering a nostalgic lyric about the simple sweetness of days gone by and expressing how she longs to return to that more innocent time. In the chorus, Scott sings, “There’s a wild, wild whisper/Blowin’ in the wind/Callin’ out my name/Like a long lost friend/Oh, I miss those days/As the years go by/Oh, nothin’ sweeter than summertime and American honey.” The tune became their third consecutive No. 1 hit and was certified platinum.
“Our Kind of Love”
This breezy up-tempo celebration of love earned Lady Antebellum their fourth consecutive No. 1 hit when it topped the chart in September 2010 and camped there for two weeks. It’s the third single from their Need You Now album, and the trio co-wrote the tune with a songwriter-producer who calls himself Busbee. The song was accompanied by an upbeat video directed by Chris Hicky. In the lyric, Lady A sing about a carefree relationship characterized by “Skipping rocks and leaving footprints/Down along the riverbank/Always holding hands, never making plans/Just living in the moment, babe.” The easygoing vibe and positive lyrics resonated with Lady A fans who propelled the song to the top of the chart.
“On This Winter’s Night”
“On This Winter’s Night” is the title of Lady Antebellum’s Christmas album which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s top holiday albums chart in 2012. The project featured such holiday favorites as “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and “The First Noël” and the beautiful title track, an original song penned by the trio along with Tom Douglas. The lyrics talk about keeping a loved one warm in your arms as you celebrate the holidays, and then in the last verse, the trio sing of the reason for the season: “The wise men heard the angels sing/And Him, like soft and robe/The king became a child a long, long time ago/And the child became a king/So the whole wide world will know/What Christmas really is.”
“Just a Kiss”
Released May 2, 2011, this chart-topping hit was the first single released from Lady A’s Own the Night album. The song has been certified double-platinum and stayed at the top of the charts for two weeks. The soaring midtempo number was written by the trio and hit songwriter Dallas Davidson. It’s a finely-crafted love song with an engaging chorus that says, “Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight/Just a touch of the fire burning so bright/No, I don’t want to mess this thing up/I don’t want to push too far/Just a shot in the dark that you just might/Be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life/So, baby, I’m all right with just a kiss goodnight.” The song was also featured on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 and was also featured on TV in the season two finale of Pretty Little Liars and in season one of Hart of Dixie.
“We Owned the Night”
“We Owned the Night” was the second single from Lady Antebellum’s third studio album, Own the Night, which was released in September 2011. The project spawned four singles and won the Grammy for best country album. “We Owned the Night” was written by Kelley, Haywood and Dallas Davidson. The idea for the song came when Kelley and Davidson were out on the town with their wives and were telling them they should “own the night” and stay longer at the bar and have more fun. It proved to be the spark that inspired the upbeat lyric that finds a guy reminiscing about a girl from his past and the memorable moments in their relationship. The song hit No. 1 in December 2011 and spent two weeks at the top.
When “Downtown” debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard country songs chart for the week of Feb. 9, 2013, it became the highest chart debut of Lady A’s career to date. The song boasts an engaging melody and a cute lyric that finds a girl asking her man why he never takes her downtown anymore. Scott delivers a spirited lead vocal, belting out, “I don’t know why you don’t take me downtown like you got anywhere better to be/Talk it up and give me the go round, round like a good time tease/I’m only counting on your cancellation/When I should be counting on you at my door/Did you forget about how we went around/I don’t know why you don’t take me downtown anymore.” Though the song peaked at No. 2, it has been certified platinum and provides the trio with the name of their current tour, Take Me Downtown, which continues through Aug. 31.
Scott will never forget where they were when they got the good news “Compass” had become the trio’s eighth No. 1 hit. “We were, ironically enough, on a 500-mile detour on the bus in Canada trying to avoid an avalanche,” Scott says with a laugh. Thankfully, the group made it on to the next gig safely and has continued with the tour. “We’re so thankful for all our friends in radio, our record label, but especially to all the fans that are on their feet each night when we start the show with this song,” Scott adds. “The energy is infectious, and it sets the night off on an unbelievable course.” The anthemic tune fuses banjo and fiddle with vibrant pop production, and the lyric is an uplifting treatise on overcoming differences and letting love steer your heart.