Multi-platinum co-ed group, Lady A joined forces in the early 2000s, and ever since then – Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood have become trailblazers within the country music space. Throughout the years, the three-part harmony-driven ensemble learned how to adapt to music’s ever-changing landscape. With their dedicated community on top of mind, they would fuse together their country-pop and even rock sound to create relatable radio-worthy hits.
Their toe-tapping tunes scored them prestigious accolades and garnered over five billion digital streams – leaving them no other choice than to hit the road running to make a touring footprint. Since the start of their career, the Grammy award-winning group proved to be unstoppable. So, when the world threw Lady A a curveball in 2020 –they did not flinch, but they simply adjusted their ways as seasoned artists.
Following their 13 track record, Ocean – live performing came to a sudden halt due. Instead of channeling their energy into touring and appearances to promote their recent work, the group put pen to paper to prepare for the future. After reflecting on themselves and rebranding during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, the group broke their silence and released What A Song Can Do (Chapter One) on Friday, June 25.
“All these songs were written throughout ,” says Kelley in an exclusive Country Now interview. “We had just put out Ocean, and we had to pivot, cancel our tour and stay at home. So, we just started writing again. That’s the only thing we knew how to do. I think it was really healing for us to write music,” he adds.
The ballads in the journal-inspired track list distinguish who each member of Lady A is at their very core – loving parents, loyal spouses, passionate musicians, and most importantly, activists. After digging deep and honing in on their craft, the beloved group realized that there were much more narratives to share. So, without any hesitation – Lady A dropped chapter two of What A Song Can Do on Friday, October 22.
“I think it kind of finishes up the story of the project. I think it was really healing for us to write music during the [last year]. It was a really helpful tool for us to just stay connected. So, we poured all that we were going through into tons of songs, probably 50 or 60,” says Lady A’s leading vocalist, Hillary Scott. “So, the first batch had a lot of that stuff from 2020, and this was kind of the remaining part of the story, as we were kind of looking towards the road. We wanted to round out the record with some different characters and different flavors,” she concluded.
The pinch of “flavor” was perfectly executed, thanks to their good pals Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, and Carly Pearce as they brought their dynamic country-pop twang to the table for their playful anthem, “Friends Don’t Let Friends.”
The honky-tonk drinking song marks the group’s first collaboration with each hitmaker. Kelley revealed that he wrote the joyful tune beachside with Rhett and other songwriting friends. When they realized the magic they had created, he looked at Rhett and said, ‘can you imagine if we could get Darius to do it with us?'”
Darius and Kelley hit the green following the song writing session, and while practicing their swing, he pitched the idea. “I was on the golf course with Darius and played it for him. He was like, ‘dude, I want to be on this…I love it!'” He continued to share that the two worked alongside together on the road before, and if one of them had a drink in their hand, the other had one as well. “So, we had him, and then we felt like we needed another strong female artist, and Hillary and Carly are extremely close, and we have only gotten closer with her over this past tour.”
Kelley stressed that he loved working on the party-like anthem because it balanced out the record, since they have heavier material like “Worship What I Hate” and “Workin’ On This Love.” As the group played around to find a happy medium between all the songs, they suddenly realized their musical purpose.
“So much of what our day-to-date life was changed,” says Scott about the long-lasting times of 2020. “I think when we stripped it all away, the songs, our songwriting, and putting those songs together into a project – that was the start. I think our greatest purpose is in the songs that we write and the honestly that we bring to those songs.” Before Scott could finish her sentence about their authenticity, Kelley chimed in to mention that their main goal is to be the driving force to help and bring about some change in their community.
They mentioned that their raw angle on their storytelling encouraged them to grow LadyAID – a philanthropic initiative that works with several leading organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, My Life Speaks, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and Boys & Girls Clubs, and more.
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“We all were like, ‘we have been doing this 15 years now. Let’s not ever put out a song that doesn’t feel authentically us, and let’s not ever say or do anything that doesn’t feel representative of what we are all about’,” he adds about their creative process and the all-around band’s identity.
The eighth studio album produced by Dan Huff serves as a genuine love letter to their fans and displays their growth as vocalists. The 14 track collection hit streaming platforms just weeks after the CMA Vocal Group of The Year nominees wrapped their LADY A: WHAT A SONG CAN DO TOUR with Carly Pearce, Niko Moon, and Tenille Arts.
However, the influential group will be keeping up the positive momentum by bringing the heat to Nashville’s Skydeck at Assembly Hall on October 22 and will be partying with iHeartCountry at their Album Release Party on Monday October 25. Fans can participate in the fun by hopping on the Livestream at 7P local time.