Nashville has taken notice of the diverse, multi-talented country trio; Lady Antebellum after their self-titled freshman album was released in April 2008. Songwriters Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood met as middle school friends, but it wasn’t until they were finance majors at the University of Georgia that the two put pen to paper and scripted their first lyrics.
After moving from Georgia to Nashville in 2006, the two aspiring artists solidified their musical talents with a new vocal addition to the group. Hillary Scott introduced herself to Kelley in the midst of Nashville’s downtown music hot spots, after having recognized him from his MySpace profile. Not long after, the three would lock themselves in a house night after night, writing songs and sculpting their sound. Countless, exhausting hours spent in the writing room paid off when the birth of Lady Antebellum came after their first hit single, Love Don’t Live Here, stunned audiences by peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles.
The Founding Fathers
Charles Kelley started his musical journey playing drums after his older brother, Josh Kelley, formed the band Inside Blue. The group briefly caught the eyes of a few record labels but hopes of signing a record deal quickly fell through. In college, Kelley met up with his old grade school pal as finance students at the University of Georgia.
For Dave Haywood, music seemed to be his calling since birth. He showed talent in various areas of the music industry, playing multiple instruments, writing songs, and after Lady Antebellum’s formation, providing background vocals. Haywood turned to finance; feeling music was not a legitimate means of support. He even worked as an accountant after graduation, but the artistic heart inside drove him to Nashville, foregoing international business opportunities in England and Japan. He moved in with Charles and Josh and began creating the blueprints to the future.
The Spark That Lit The Fire
Hillary Scott joined the group in the spring of 2006 after meeting Kelley by chance in downtown Nashville. She is the daughter of singer Grammy Award-winning Linda Davis who enjoyed her own country success during the 90’s. Her father, Lang Scott is a musician in his own right as well. While in high school, Scott performed alongside her parents in her mothers Linda Davis Family Christmas Show, instantly spawning her love for music. She acquired a local following; however, her first shot at a major record label fell through. Just after things fell apart, Scott and Kelley struck up a conversation and a second shot for Kelley began to bloom.
The Lady Antebellum Album
Scott and Kelley shared a harmonic sound while Haywood provided flawless instrumental depth and keynote background vocals. After singing with Capitol Records Nashville in 2007, their first hit single, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” stormed the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, peaking at #3. It appeared on their debut, self titled album, which hit stores on April 15, 2008. Following their initial success, Lady Antebellum received “Top New Group” at the 2008 ACM Awards, played the Grand Ole Opry, and opened for numerous A-List artist, including Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Kenney Chesney, and Taylor Swift, among others. Nashville Lifestyles magazine has even dubbed them as “the next big thing.”
- Lady Antebellum was the opening act for Martina McBride on her 2008 arena tour.
- Were amongst Billboard and the Boston Globe’s list of artist to watch in 2008.
- Kelley is a self-described analytical perfectionist, while Haywood is calm and collective, and Scott is the lively, jokester of the group.
- Hillary Scott was born April 1, 1984 and her influences include Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire.
- Dave Haywood was born July 5, 1982 and was motivated by The Allman Brothers Band and the Eagles.
- Charles Kelley was born September 11, 1981 and was inspired by Ronnie Van Zant and Joe Cocker.
- They had no real plan when starting out. The group played local music clubs in Nashville and released early material on MySpace.
- While in vintage southern costumes at a photo shoot, they made a final decision on the band name, but received the nickname Lady A from fans.
"Love Don't Live Here" (Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott) – 3:50
"Lookin' for a Good Time" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott, Keith Follesé) – 3:07
"All We'd Ever Need" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott) – 4:40
"Long Gone" (Victoria Shaw, Scott, K. Follesé, Adrienne Follesé) – 3:34
"I Run to You" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott, Tom Douglas) – 4:16
"Love's Looking Good on You" (Shaw, Jason Deere, Matt Lopez) – 3:21
"Home Is Where the Heart Is" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott, Shaw) – 3:45
"Things People Say" (Haywood, Kelley) – 3:50
"Slow Down Sister" (Haywood, Kelley, Shaw, Jason "Slim" Gambill) – 3:06
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott) – 4:45
"One Day You Will" (Haywood, Kelley, Scott, Clay Mills) – 4:30