A Country Music
group composed of Hillary Scott (daughter of 1990s country singer Linda Davis), Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. The band made an unassuming debut in 2007 as guest musicians on a Jim Brickman pop song. Shortly afterward came "Love Don't Live Here," which launched a moderately successful debut album. The last single from the release, "I Run to You," slowly became the group's first #1, and was ranked by Billboard
as the biggest country hit of the year — quite a feat for the last
single from an album.
Then came "Need You Now," which launched the band's career into the stratosphere. That song had a super-fast climb to #1 on the country music charts, as well as the longest run at #1 on that chart in over three years. It then went Serial Escalation
, also topping both of the Billboard
AC charts and reaching #2 on the Hot 100, in addition to reaching Top 20 (or close to it) in nearly every country that has a single chart. In short, it was one of the biggest country crossover hits ever
. Third album Own the Night
has also launched a rather big pop crossover in "Just a Kiss", but the album was criticized for its over-emphasis on midtempos. Golden
, their fourth album, brought the group their fastest-rising chart-topper in "Downtown". After its second single "Goodbye Town" flopped, the group released "Compass", produced by Nathan Chapman.
Tropes present in their work:
- Bowdlerise: "Lookin' for a Good Time," a song that's about two people meeting in a club and hooking up. The last line of the second verse on the album version was "Would you get the wrong impression / If I called us a cab right now"; the radio edit ends with "if I asked you to dance right now" and, to prevent "dance" from showing up twice so closely, "you shouldn't dance like that" in an earlier line becomes "you shouldn't move like that". However, the rest of the song (which includes such lines as "Go ahead and lie to me and hold me close/tell me that you love me even if you don't") is left alone, implying a Mating Dance.
- Call-and-Response Song: Many of their songs are set as dialogue between Hillary and Charles, most notably "Need You Now". Hillary sings the first verse and chorus; Charles sings the second verse; they sing the second chorus together; then alternate on the last chorus.
Hillary: ♪It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I need you now♪
Charles: ♪And I said I wouldn't call, but I'm a little drunk and I need you now♪
Both: ♪And I don't know how I can do without, I just need you now♪
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before their debut single, they sang on Jim Brickman's "Never Alone".
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first album had a lot more of a rock edge, and far less emphasis on string sections, compared to their later work. Golden seems to be moving back in that direction, though.
- Follow the Leader: Likely what inspired Charles' brother Josh, who is mainly a pop singer, to put out a country album in 2011.
- Gloriana's "(Kissed You) Good Night" is clearly inspired by Lady A's signature style.
- Lesser Star: Subverted by Dave Haywood, who doesn't contribute much vocally but plays piano, guitar, mandolin, and mandola on many songs, and does just as much songwriting as the other two members.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Need You Now" romanticizes booty calls.
- Non-Indicative Name
- Record Producer: Session guitarist Paul Worley, doing by far the most pop-sounding production he's ever done. Little-known singer-songwriter Victoria Shaw helped him on the first album. As mentioned above, Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift) produced "Compass".
- Signature Style: Grandiose, sweeping, orchestral country-pop with big vocals, although Golden seems to be moving them away from this.
- Vocal Tag Team: Most of their singles are duets between Charles and Hillary. "Love Don't Live Here", "Hello World", and "We Owned the Night" are Charles only; "American Honey" and "Downtown" are Hillary only; and "Goodbye Town" is all Charles, except for one line from Hillary near the end.