Lady Antebellum got into music in Nashville specifically because the three band members — Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood — saw themselves as country artists.
But if people who listen to other genres take an interest, well, they’re not going to turn down a few extra fans. As a result, Lady A is an extremely interesting place. “Our Kind Of Love” is the third single from the Need You Now album, and it’s in the Top 20 on the Billboard country singles chart. But over in the pop world, the group’s record company is mining a track from the band’s first album.
“Need You Now” recently spent more than 10 weeks at No. 1 on the adult-pop chart — in fact, the song went back to No. 1 in Billboard this week. Understandably, Capitol looked for way to milk that pop success a little longer, but instead of grabbing something from the current CD, the label is working “I Run To You,” a song from the last album, to pop stations. It’s already won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award, so the move should not damage their country cred in the least bit. Especially since Lady A didn’t intentionally set out to go pop.
“When you’re lucky enough to crossover and then you go after that, I think that’s a nightmare,” says buddy Luke Bryan, who co-wrote “I Do” with Dave and Charles. The band is, he adds, “smart enough to realize” they should dance with the genre that brung ‘em — and that’s country.
Meanwhile, the ever-increasing attention from fans of all persuasions has created a lot of weird situations for Lady A.
“People wait outside the bathroom stall to shake my hand!” Hillary laughs.
“There’s some obvious fear for the three of us as this is happening, as it’s moving forward at a pretty rapid pace,” Charles adds, acknowledging that it becomes harder and harder to maintain some privacy. “We’re goin’, ‘Wow, this is really happening. What does this mean? What does it come with?’ It’s a scary thing, because like anybody, you’ve got your bad days, [but] you’re always representing the band, even in the real world. So even if you got in a bad mood and somebody wants your autograph, you need to be genuine and stuff because that’s what they expect from you.”
Not that any of them are complaining about the increased scrutiny.
“We love it,” Charles adds. “The fact that we have fans — we still appreciate it.”
The band is taking a little time off from the road this weekend, but Lady A goes back out to play for its fans during a four-day run beginning Thursday, July 8. They do three shows in a row opening for Tim McGraw — in Pittsburgh; Camden, N.J.; and Bristow, Va. — and they close out the string Sunday, July 11, in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.