When Lady Antebellum wrote “Need You Now” in 2009, the band had no idea that the song was going to vault them into the same pop world inhabited by the other lady — Lady Gaga — in 2010.
In fact, a lot of songwriters in Nashville thought “Need You Now” was a bold song — it was built around a drunken booty call, and since country radio stations are very attuned to offering family-friendly material, many Music Row writers were a bit shocked when the song caught on. And it caught on very quickly. Not only was it a multi-week No. 1 single at the end of ‘09, it also got picked up by pop stations who played it frequently throughout 2010, aiding a jump for the oddly-named trio into music’s big leagues.
Lady Antebellum’s ascent ranks at No. 4 as GAC counts down the dozen biggest stories of country music from 2010.
“Need You Now” became the title track for Lady A’s sophomore album, released in January 2010, and the complete collection held its own throughout the year, ranking as the best-selling country album for the year and finishing at No. 3 on the year-end Billboard 200 list, topped only by Susan Boyle and Eminem.
But that’s just one of numerous events and accolades that occurred for Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood in 2010. They won twice during the Country Music Association Awards, appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” sang the national anthem during the World Series, got a triple-platinum sales award for Need You Now, launched their first headlining tour and closed the year with six Grammy nominations.
So much has happened in such a short period of time that the band can’t really grasp its good fortune as it’s occurring.
“You can’t really process the big moments,” Hillary says. “Like you’re at Oprah, you know, you’re there and you’re talking to her, but it doesn’t really hit you. It’s in those quiet moments like when you’re on a plane, or in the van or at home havin’ dinner with your family. There’s just different moments. I think when I really … get overcome with that emotion of really doin’ it is in those quiet moments when I let myself breathe and think and just stop because so much of what we do is just constant moving. So whenever you have a chance to just stop, it’s like, ‘Oh, OK. Yeah, this really has all happened. We’re not just dreamin’ it.’”
The 2011 calendar already promises at least one new horizon for Lady A: The group will tour Australia for the first time, opening for Keith Urban in April.