Lady A blend contemporary country with soulful '60s R&B into an infectious brew that relies on the trio's rich harmonies and impeccable instrumental skills. The trio was formed in 2006 by Charles Kelley (brother of singer/songwriter Josh Kelley), Hillary Scott (daughter of Grammy-winning country artist Linda Davis), and Dave Haywood, and soon graduated from dive bars to the Grand Ole Opry. Their 2009 single "Need You Now" became the first of many hits to reach not just the country Top Ten but the pop Top Ten as well.
The group formed when Scott met Kelley and Haywood in Nashville, and after a few months of performing around the area, they signed with Capitol Nashville in 2007. Lady A's first single, "Love Don't Live Here," peaked at number three on the country charts. A self-titled debut album followed in April 2008, featuring production from Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley and stocked with more country hits (including the chart-topping single "I Run to You," which also enjoyed crossover success as a Top 40 pop hit).
Within a year-and-a-half, Lady A's debut had gone platinum and earned a Grammy nomination, and the band enjoyed its newfound success while putting the finishing touches on a second album. Need You Now appeared in early 2010, and its leadoff single — "Need You Now" — became the group's highest-charting song to date, topping the country charts and peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It eventually sold over three million copies. The album experienced similar success, going gold during its second week of release and reaching platinum status soon after. By early 2011, Need You Now had sold more than three million copies in America alone, and the band took a break from recording a third studio album in order to attend the Grammys, where Lady A took home five awards.
Their third studio album, 2011's Own the Night, for which the group wrote ten of the 12 tracks and co-produced with Worley, generated a hot single on the country chart right out of the box, "Just a Kiss," which became the trio's fastest-rising single yet and crossed over, topping Billboard's adult contemporary chart. The next single, "Dancin' Away with My Heart," reached number two on Billboard's country chart. Lady A next released the holiday album On This Winter's Night in the fall of 2012; the record entered the Billboard Top Ten upon its release and was certified gold in the U.S.
In May of 2013, Lady A released Golden, their fourth full-length studio album. Preceded by the hit single "Downtown," Golden entered the Billboard charts at number one, but its second single, "Goodbye Town," underperformed. The album was revived by a deluxe edition released in November of 2013, thanks to the inclusion of the single "Compass." Written by the pop-making machine Stargate, "Compass" became a Top Ten country single in early 2014. The trio quickly followed Golden with 747 in the fall of 2014; helmed by Nathan Chapman, it was their first record not produced by Worley. "Bartender," the record's first single, became a Top Ten country single prior to the album's release. 747 produced two other modest hits — "Freestyle" and "Long Stretch of Love," which appeared in 2015 — before ending its album cycle. Lady A took a hiatus in 2016, with Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott both pursuing solo projects, and then returned in the summer of 2017 with the soft and mellow busbee-produced Heart Break, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. In early 2019, Lady A did a residency at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and returned with a new single, "What If I Never Get Over You," a few months later. The song was the first single pulled from Ocean, the trio's first album for the Big Machine subsidiary BMLG. Produced by Dann Huff, Ocean appeared in November 2019. ~ James Christopher Monger & Andrew Leahey