Lady Antebellum Used Mediator to ‘Figure Things Out’
It's one of the most celebrated stories in country music. Two college buddies, both pursuing solo careers, joined with the daughter of famed country singer Linda Davis to form an award-winning trio that has now gone on to sell more than five million albums. But as it turns out, the real story of Lady Antebellum involves an early struggle to learn to get along -- and an end result that leaves the threesome as a close family unit with an indestructible bond.
"The first two years were really hard," Charles Kelley admits (quote via Access Hollywood). "The last two years have been really easy."
"It took us time to learn how to communicate with each other the best way and each of us receives it," adds Hillary Scott. "We actually -- I don't feel ashamed to say -- actually had someone come and mediate a couple of times."
The two lead singers, Charles and Hillary, were both outspoken and opinionated, while multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood, tended to be more introspective, keeping to himself. The end result was three people who stopped communicating, which is when they wisely brought in an outsider to teach them how to effectively share with each other.
"I think it's honestly a really smart way to work through things," Hillary asserts. "[We used] not really a therapist, but a communications specialist. We figured out how to argue and work through things, but argue respectfully. We agree on a lot of things -- on most things -- but on the things that we didn't, it was figuring out how to work through those things. Time and a couple of sessions with that mediator and we figured things out."
Their new lessons in communication came just in time. The trio vaulted to superstar status with their mega-hit, 'Need You Now' in 2009, winning 11 major awards and topping country and pop charts all over the world. The success united the three singer-songwriters with a tight bond that is still going strong today.
"I think we're the closest we've ever been as a group right now," Dave notes. "And I think that comes through in our songwriting. I feel like I know what Hillary would be comfortable saying and what we can dive into, and vice versa. I think we work great in those scenarios. Hopefully the songs have a genuine feel to them because we feel like we write them from a very personal place."
Lady A released their third studio album, 'Own the Night,' this week but say they refused to bow to the pressure of repeating the success of 'Need You Now.' "That was a once-in-a-lifetime song," Charles insists. "But I think we'll continue to have success if we stay true to ourselves and our fans, our core audience, which is the country music audience. We're very flattered that more people are into us, but [pop music is] a genre and a world where it's much more, 'in one day and out the next.' As long as our country fans still dig what we're doing, we'll hopefully be here for a long time."
The new 12-song collection has already garnered a chart-topping hit with 'Just a Kiss,' but all the focus isn't on the success of the group's singles. "Whether we have that smash, the record is a collection of better, stronger songs," Charles adds. "Only time will tell if the fans feel that way."
Lady Antebellum kick off their Own the Night tour on Nov. 11 in Knoxville, Tenn., with Josh Kelley serving as the opening act on all dates, and Randy Montana and Eden's Edge splitting the dates. See the entire schedule here.
Watch the official video for 'We Owned the Night' below.