The Claim2Fame Podcast is a resource for artists
Every episode features successful artists and industry experts sharing compelling stories and valuable knowledge about the music industry hosted by CMA, ACM & CCMA Award Winning Broadcaster Cliff Dumas.
Cliff talks to Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood Scott from Lady Antebellum.
Lady Antebellum blend contemporary country with soulful ’60s R&B into an infectious brew that relies on the trio’s rich harmonies and impeccable instrumental skills. The trio was 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, and soon graduated from dive bars to the Grand Ole Opry. Their 2009 single “Need You Now” became the first of many hits to reach not just the country Top Ten but the pop Top Ten as well.
The group formed when Scott met Kelley and Haywood in Nashville, and after a few months of performing around the area, they signed with Capitol Nashville in 2007. Lady Antebellum’s first single, “Love Don’t Live Here,” 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).
Lady A has sold over 18 million records and have released their new album Heart Break—their sixth release and first new music since 2014’s 747—the multi-platinum-selling group mapped out a liberating approach. It’s not as if they were slacking during the hiatus (Kelley released the Grammy-nominated The Driver, Scott won two Grammys for her faith-based project Love Remains, and Haywood produced and wrote with several developing acts), but they always knew they would get back to making Lady A music. The question was how.
“We knew we wanted to take that break to be with our families and chase some new creative paths,” says Haywood. “But even during that time, I remember Charles saying ‘Guys, let’s figure out how to use this time as a way to really dig into this next record, make time to do nothing but create music together. How do we come at it in a totally different way?’“
So the trio embarked on a new mission—setting aside time to put themselves in new surroundings, and concentrate on writing and exploring musical possibilities with no distractions. They rented a house in Florida, living and working under the same roof, and when the experiment proved successful, they set up a second retreat in Southern California.
“The goal was to give each other our undivided attention,” says Scott. “Being in a new space meant we could really free our minds to focus solely on our art. We took some of our favorite writers and some writers we hadn’t worked with before to a new inspiring backdrop, where we were able to just write and soak up the process.”
Even more crucially, along the way, the members of Lady Antebellum were able to dive into their relationship as friends. “We’d wake up and Dave would have cooked breakfast and it was amazing,” says Kelley. “Making drinks and staying up talking until 3 in the morning—we hadn’t gotten to do that in forever.”
“Being together every day, living in a house together, that was the special ingredient this time,” says Haywood, while Scott adds, “We’ve always been close, but we got to reconnect even deeper into our friendships, and that was really priceless.”