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Formed in 2006 by Charles Kelley (brother of singer/songwriter Josh Kelley), Hillary Scott (daughter of Grammy-winning country artist Linda Davis), and Dave Haywood, Lady Antebellum makes contemporary country music that relies on the trio's rich harmonies and impeccable instrumental skills. Since its inception, the trio has graduated from dive bars to the Grand Ole Opry, opening for Phil Vassar, Rodney Atkins, and Carrie Underwood along the way. The group signed with Capitol Nashville in 2007 and released its first single, "Love Don't Live Here," which peaked at number three on the country charts. A self-titled debut album followed in April 2008, featuring production from Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley and stocked with more country hits (including the chart-topping single "I Run To You," which also enjoyed crossover success as a Top 40 pop hit).
Within a year and a half, Lady Antebellum's debut had gone platinum and earned a Grammy nomination, and the band enjoyed its newfound success while putting the finishing touches on a second album. Need You Now appeared in early 2010, and its leadoff single -- "Need You Now" -- became the group's highest-charting song to date, topping the country charts and peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It eventually sold over three million copies. The album experienced similar success, going gold during its second week of release and reaching platinum status soon after. thumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
By early 2011, Need You Now had sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S. alone, and the band took a break from recording a third studio album in order to attend the Grammys, where they took home five awards, including the all-genre trophys for record and song of the year. The trio also won the thumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - American Honeygroup video honor at the 2011 CMT Music Awards for "Hello World." In September, the trio released its third album, Own the Night.
The album had large first week sales of 347,000 copies. Lady A also performed on Saturday Night Live.
Lady Antebellum was selected to be honored as CMT Artists of the Year for the second year in a row.
At the 2011 CMA Awards in November, Lady A won Vocal Group of the Year.
Lady Antebellum won Group of the Year at the second annual, all fan-voted American Country Awards in December.
In February, the group won Best Country Album for Own the Night at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
"That's the core of our group, how we started," says Dave Haywood, harmony singer and multi-instrumentalist. "What spawned our friendship was that special writing chemistry. That's when we are the happiest, just sitting in a room together making music."thumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - I Run To You
"Maybe it's a self preservation kind of thing," agrees co-lead singer Hillary Scott. "Especially on the road we have to work to nurture our relationship. I write so much
from about what is happening in my life and the people closest to me, so knowing my friends care about what is going on in my life outside of Lady A, makes me more likely pour it all out into a song."
“Writing lets us chill and slow down a bit," says Charles Kelley whose edgy lead vocals merge and weave with Hillary’s velvet tone."
Lady Antebellum formed in 2006. Hillary and Charles decided to try writing together after a chance meeting at a Nashville music spot. Charles and his high school musician friend and co-wrthumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - Just A Kissiter Dave Haywood were living with Charles' brother Josh Kelley at the time. Late night songwriting sessions with the new trio soon became the genesis through which they discovered the remarkable emotional effect that was created when Charles and Hillary's vocals blended. With Dave's harmony sounds and instrumental prowess added to that mix the three young musicians realized they might not just be writing songs for other people, but perhaps would get to perform them, too. A Music Row "buzz" began to spread as the newly-formed trio started making appearances on local stages.
Soon key tastemakers began to believe in the group, including producer Paul Worley who has worked on all three Lady A albums. By April 2007, a blink of an eye in music industry time, Capitol Nashville had signed Lady Antebellum to a record deal and the trio began to ascend toward the constthumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - Lookin' For A Good Timeellation of country music stars with powerful hits such as "Love Don't Live Here," and "I Run To You."
The group's second album, Need You Now (released Jan. 2010) took the band to an even larger audience. To date the album has sold over five million copies worldwide, spawning three multi-week No. 1 hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey” and “Our Kind
of Love”), and scored five Grammy Awards. It has also received over a dozen other award show trophies. ‘Need You Now’ introduced the world, outside North America, to Lady Antebellum. The single was a huge airplay hit around the globe, reaching the No. 1 spot in numerous markets and achieving Top 5 Airplay in 30 countries world-wide. The album has sold in excess of one million units outside the US, and ‘Need You Now’ remains in the airplay charts more than 18 months since release. thumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - We Owned the Night
"We never expected to be thrust into the international spotlight in the way that we were…from the success of just one song," says Kelley. "It was six months or so after the album came out that we were finally able to go play overseas. When we got there, we were floored at the life that 'Need You Now' had taken on. The power of that one song really changed the scope of our entire career at home and in all these places we had only dreamed of playing."
In The Studio – Own The Night The pairing with Paul Worley has proved a good fit. His warm temperament, creative sensibility and platinum experience with acts such as the Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride helped guide Lady Antebellum's studio development.
"Recording for us is an open forum of ideas," says Dave who readily avows, "One of my first loves is thumb|300px|right|Lady Antebellum - Hello Worldmessing around with studio production. Paul has great vision for where these songs need to go. Over three albums we've learned a lot about the recording process, how to speak the language and what it takes to get it done. Naturally, as songwriters we envision these songs a certain way. It's not some far removed kind of thing with a bunch of session guys and us just showing up to sing. This is from the ground up—we are writing these songs, playing these instruments and creating the arrangements."
Lady Antebellum's third album, Own The Night is scheduled for release Sept. 13. The upcoming 12-cut set features the band's fastest rising single to date, "Just a Kiss" plus 11 additional tracks. Charles, Hillary and Dave wrote or co-wrote 10 of the songs, including "We Owned The Night."
"'We Owned The Night' opens the album, "says Dave excitedly, "and I really love this song. We reworked the title slightly to make it present tense for the album title–Own The Night. When people come out to our live show it's a call to action. Be confident, live in the moment and enjoy the experiences you're going through—own them. That's the premise of what we wanted to say."
Own The Night 2011 Tour Part of the challenge of a new album is translating it into a live show. "When we were tracking 'We Owned The Night' in the studio," says Hillary, "I was in the control room with Paul (Charles sings lead on it). Listening to the track inspired me to visualize our live show. I grabbed a legal pad and began drawing out the stage. That was the first sign to me that the song would be a cornerstone of this third album."
"Many of our songs have an interplay between Charles and Hillary and we feel strongly about creating that emotion live," adds Dave. "And being on tour with artists like Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban has also given us a lot of ideas. So yeah, we're excited to get a chance to jump up into arenas and give that a shot."
"People want you to entertain them," says Charles. "The fans feed off your energy. They see it on your face. So we've learned to let ourselves go on stage. With three people the strongest moments are when we are close and tight together. But it's a giant stage to fill up."
Being themselves has worked for this group. As Hillary recalls, "I'll never forget when we were on our first radio tour and a programmer said, 'I don't think two lead singers, a girl and a guy are going to work.'
"Especially with the name too," remembers Dave. "Programmers weren't sure if people could identify with two singers. It was a risk at the time. But for us it was just like, well that's who we are. How can we not do that?"
It's All About Our Fans "We stay connected with everybody in a huge way online with our webisodes and social networking,” says Dave. “After a show we pull up Twitter to see what people are saying, especially when we're introducing a new song. We care about what they think and the internet gives us a way to get an immediate reaction."
"All these people who spend their hard earned money on a concert ticket or a CD, they invest in us and who we are," says Hillary. "Not just in the music we play, but in our lives. So the least we can do in return is reciprocate that trust in the form of continuing to tour, create music and do our very best at both."
"We are just as vulnerable about this music, self-conscious and need approval like anyone else," says Charles quietly. "We recognize we've been given an amazing opportunity and don't want to let anyone down. We hit the lottery. We’re just lucky we can sing and play instruments."
"I hope people realize we aren't taking it all for granted," says Dave. "This is crazy, but we want to enjoy it and do our very best. Twenty years later I hope people will talk about us and say, ‘They were just genuine people who made genuine music based upon their life experiences’."
2012 Grammy NominationsEdit
- Best Country Music Album for Own The Night
|Lady Antebellum||"Love Don't Live Here"||"Lookin' For A Good Time"||"I Run To You"|
|Need You Now||"Need You Now"||"American Honey"||"Stars Tonight"||"Our Kind Of Love"||"Hello World"|
|Own The Night||"Just A Kiss"||"We Owned The Night"||"Dancin' Away With My Heart"||"Wanted You More"|