Lady A Lace Their New Album with Personal Growth: 'It'll Be a Record We Never Forget'

lady a lace their new album with personal growth: 'it'll be a record we never forget'
© Provided by People Hodges Usry Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady A

Lady A is usually so focused on the here and now, says Charles Kelley, that he and bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood can sometimes forget their “old friends.”

Friends like “I Run to You,” the very first in their string of 11 No. 1 songs, that features those fateful lyrics: “This world keeps spinning faster / into a new disaster.”

Performing that 13-year-old song nightly on their just-completed tour — long postponed by the latest “new disaster” — gave the trio a potent reminder that some things just don’t change despite the years. At the same time, says Kelley, 40, it was also “a reminder of how far we’ve come.”

lady a lace their new album with personal growth: 'it'll be a record we never forget'
© Provided by People Brett Carlsen/Getty Lady A

Fifteen years have elapsed since he and Haywood, friends since middle school, found their missing piece in Scott, another aspiring Nashville singer-songwriter, to form what has become one of the most successful and enduring groups in country music. Today, after weathering the collateral impact of a global pandemic, they are more grateful than ever for their history, for each other and for the opportunity to make new music.

lady a lace their new album with personal growth: 'it'll be a record we never forget'
© Hodges Usry Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady A

On Friday, they’re releasing the second half of What a Song Can Do, which completes the debut of their eighth full-length album. Kelley calls it “the most vulnerable and honest record we’ve ever made,” and Scott and Haywood don’t disagree. The reason, they say, is that they chose to embrace personal growth while they created the album and waited out the quarantine.

Scott, 35, tells how their manager helped them with the right mindset once they had to cancel their 2020 tour.

“He said, ‘Just think about who you want to be on the other side of this,'” she says. “He didn’t even say much more than that. And it was such a challenge and a great question.”

For Kelley, it led to even more questions. “I had defined so much of my life and my happiness upon the success and failure of this band,” he says, “and something about this past year and a half made me look inside and ask, who am I? What do we want to represent as a band? What kind of stake do we want to put in the ground? How do I want to define my happiness?”

The months of what Scott calls their “forced stillness” didn’t necessarily offer revelations, but it did give them clarity about what they already knew was important: family, health, charitable work — and each other. In this band marriage, Kelley, Scott and Haywood live by the “I Run to You” mantra.

“Where would I be if I didn’t have Dave and Hillary throughout this past year and a half?” says Kelley. “There were times when I was really strong and they needed help, and there were times when I was just down in the dumps and needed help.”

lady a lace their new album with personal growth: 'it'll be a record we never forget'
© Provided by People Hodges Usry Lady A

Of course, what most binds the three together is the music — especially of the Lady A variety. “We really are a band that’s all about just love and hoping that our music makes people feel good,” says Kelley.

Ultimately, creating new music was what sustained them most through the lengthy hiatus, says Haywood, 39. “I don’t know what we would have done without writing during that time,” he says. “We were like, all right, let’s just put our heads down and get to work, because writing music has just always been part of our DNA. Everything we all went through collectively in 2020, we just started to pour into the music. And so, it’ll be a record we never forget.”

As always, the trio exerted their harmonic magic to express a full spectrum of emotions, and the 14 tracks range from the saucy swagger of hit single “Like a Lady” to the touching generational tribute, “Things He Handed Down.”

RELATED: Oh, Man! Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood Put the ‘Lady’ in Lady A on Band’s New Single

“Fire” offers a catchy melody with a strong shot of wisdom (“you’re only gonna find your way if you’re searching / you’re only gonna find your strength when you’re hurting”). Even deeper insights arrive with “Worship What I Hate,” a solemn and searing confessional about losing one’s way (“I gave so much time to nothing / I focused on who I was, not who I’m becoming”).

Scott, who co-wrote “Worship” with Haywood, Natalie Hemby and Amy Wadge, says those lyrics could only have grown out of the pandemic’s unexpected opportunity for reflection. “I wouldn’t have had the capacity to write it if we hadn’t walked that in this past year and a half-plus,” she says.

As much as Lady A has proven in the past that they can turn up the heat on passion, two of this album’s most romantic songs, “Be That For You” and “Workin’ on This Love,” focus far more on the steadfastness of love.

The latter song marks the first time in Lady A’s recording career that Haywood has taken lead vocals, and it’s another first, as well: He holds sole writing credit. He originally wrote the song for an audience of one; it was a Mother’s Day gift for his wife, Kelli.

“She loved the song,” Haywood says with a grin. “I feel like every year I have to find something at the mall that she doesn’t end up liking, so this went a lot better.”

Its creation, he explains, occurred during the final weeks of song selection for the album, and he decided to submit it with the thought that “maybe some fans would enjoy hearing the character and hearing a different flavor.”

Kelley and Scott recall loving the song the moment they heard it. Scott’s first thought was, “Who’d you write this with?” Kelley suspected a collaboration with Tom Douglas (co-writer of “I Run to You”). Both were floored that Haywood wrote it solo, almost an anomaly in Nashville.

There was no question for Kelley and Scott that the song was album-worthy and that Haywood’s sweet tenor would take the lead.

“It’s just such a well-written personal song,” says Kelley.

What’s taken Haywood so long for his moment in the vocal spotlight?

Country’s consummate collaborator deflects the question. “I’m good once every decade,” he deadpans, evoking laughter from both his bandmates.

RELATED: Hillary Scott Breaks Down in Tears as Lady A Asked to Join Grand Ole Opry: ‘So Truly Grateful’

“Friends Don’t Let Friends” is yet another standout album track — a sonic party with a guest list that includes Lady A pals Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett and Carly Pearce.

The hook was born while Kelley’s and Thomas Rhett’s families were vacationing together. “We were hanging out down at the beach, and all our kids were playing, and we both had a beer in our hands,” Kelley recalls. “He was like, ‘You know, friends don’t let friends drink alone.’ And I was like, ‘We should write that.’ And he just started spitting out the chorus.”

Rucker signed on after Kelley shared the song during one of their frequent golf dates. “Then we were like, hey, we need another strong female to balance out all of this dude power,” Kelley says, and Pearce — who just completed touring with the group — was enlisted.

“We can’t have a song called ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends,’ and them not actually be our close friends,” says Kelley. “Those three are about as close as they come. I think it’s definitely gonna be a fan favorite.”

But fans will have to wait to see the band perform it live, as well as the rest of the new music. The trio know they’ve flipped convention (album release first, then the tour), but they jumped at the chance to hit the road this summer.

“We were like, yes, let’s go,” says Kelley. “It wasn’t just big for us, but it was very big for our crew. We took care of our close band and some crew members as best we could [during the quarantine], but to have that huge operation back out there, that was a lot of the pressure we were feeling, too.”

All three bandmates are still basking in the afterglow of the live performances. “We will never take the stage for granted,” says Haywood. “You could tell it was most people’s first time back out. And you could just see it on their faces, how much fun they were having just to be back out. It felt like the most grateful moments we’ve ever had. I mean, I literally was on stage screaming, ‘Thank you, Lord! This is so fun!'”

On the final night of the tour, in Gilford, New Hampshire, the trio sat around a campfire, made s’mores and talked about their thankfulness. “The fact we could play 30 shows amidst a pandemic and pull it off is just a miracle,” says Haywood.

For Scott, the tour was exactly what she needed after the months of pandemic-created isolation. “It’s mutually shared experiences, being able to physically gather and see other people,” she says. “And it’s the power of music and what it can do. I know we’ve all suffered so much through the lack of true personal connection. The hope I’ve seen in the live show experience has been so healing, and such beautiful healing.”

Kelley also speaks of connection, but his mind turns to the band — and another “old friend” they brought along on the tour, the 2013 hit, “Compass”:  “Yeah, it’s been a bumpy road / roller-coasters highs and lows.”

Those words are now, unquestionably, the story of the band. So is the chorus: “No matter what, you’ll never be alone.” Whatever the future holds, Kelley, Scott and Haywood say, they’re committed to going there together.

“We like wherever the journey takes us,” Kelley says. “Whether we’re doing theaters or clubs or some giant amphitheater, let’s just try to appreciate it — and soak it up.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Watch Zendaya's Reaction When Timothée Chalamet Calls Tom Holland Her 'Celebrity Crush'

© ‘Buzzfeed’ Busted! Though Zendaya and Tom Holland have kept their reported real-life romance primarily private, the 25-year-old Dune star did get a bit of playful teasing from her co-star, ... Read more »

Celebrities react to Alec Baldwin's 'horrifying' prop gun accident

1/27 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail Celebrities and industry figures took to social media after learning of the tragic accident that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s forthcoming film ... Read more »

These video games are worth a fortune today

1/40 SLIDES © Courtesy Heritage Auctions The most sought-after and valuable vintage and recent titles You won’t believe the prices collectors are willing to pay for your old and not so ... Read more »

Inside Saddest Factory Records: How Phoebe Bridgers Is Quietly Building an Indie Empire

Phoebe Bridgers Charlie Hickey Claud Scruffpuppie Billboard’s third annual package spotlighting the independent music business opens with an inside look at the Phoebe Bridgers’ run label Saddest Factory Records. Just ... Read more »

Kierra & Karen Clark-Sheard Team Up Atop Gospel Airplay Chart

Kierra Sheard It’s a family affair atop Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart, as Kierra’s “Something Has to Break,” featuring her mother, Karen Clark-Sheard, rises to No. 1 on the list dated ... Read more »

Best albums by The Rolling Stones

1/29 SLIDES © Scott Gries // Getty Images Best albums by The Rolling Stones The transcendent sound of The Rolling Stones has redefined multiple genres of music. The band grew out ... Read more »

Churches to castles: historic places to stay in Britain

1/45 SLIDES © Cowdray Estate/Facebook Historic hideaways Britain has a long and illustrious history that has resulted in a wonderfully eclectic mix of architectural styles. From royal palaces and Gothic cathedrals ... Read more »

Delicious money-saving meals from canned foods

1/31 SLIDES © AnastasiaKopa/Shutterstock It’s in the can Having the essential canned foods in your store cupboard helps you save money and time but doesn’t mean you have to compromise on ... Read more »

Publishing Briefs: WCM Signs Jhené Aiko & Elvie Shane; Emeli Sandé Finds Reservoir

Jhené Aiko Warner Chappell Music has signed a co-publishing deal with Grammy-nominated artist Jhené Aiko. The deal includes all songs created by Aiko from January 2021 until the deal’s end, ... Read more »

K-Pop stars BTS dump Sony for Universal Music

K-Pop superstars BTS have ditched Sony Music’s Columbia Records as their distributor and marketing partner in favour of Universal Music. The move was confirmed by BTS’s management company Hybe after initial reports by ... Read more »

Brandon Lee's family offer support following Halyna Hutchins's death on film set

The family of late actor Brandon Lee have spoken out following cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’s tragic death in an onset firearm accident. © Provided by Cover Media Brandon Lee The incident ... Read more »

From USSR to Hollywood: how Halyna Hutchins succeeded as a top cinematographer

Halyna Hutchins was a talented and passionate cinematographer who was clearly enjoying her job as director of photography on Alec Baldwin’s latest cowboy movie. Over the past three weeks, she ... Read more »

You didn’t know these customs were offensive in some countries

1/56 SLIDES © Shutterstock You didn’t know these customs were offensive in some countries In a growing global culture of travel and tourism, it’s important to remember that our seemingly normal ... Read more »

'Dune' star Timothee Chalamet's wildest and most playful fashion moments

1/19 SLIDES © Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock Timothee Chalamet pushes the envelope in the best way possible when it comes to men’s fashion. To celebrate the debut of his newest movie, “Dune,” on ... Read more »

Breaking down different kinds of skiing

1/11 SLIDES © Lukas Gojda // Shutterstock Breaking down different kinds of skiing Traversing or gliding across snow has been a common sport for millennia. Fragments of skis—primitive but unmistakably similar ... Read more »

How U.K. Touring Is Struggling to Keep On Truckin’

LONDON — In April 2022, when Ed Sheeran begins his + – = ÷ x shows — which he’s calling the Mathematics Tour — dozens of trucks from the U.K. ... Read more »

System of a Down Postpone L.A. Stadium Dates After Singer Serj Tankian Tests Positive For COVID-19

Serj Tankian of System of a Down System of a Down were forced to postpone their two planned hometown shows this weekend at Banc of California Stadium after singer Serj ... Read more »

How Angelina Jolie Keeps From Being a 'Dramatic' Mom to 6 Kids

1/35 SLIDES © Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com Mother of six! Angelina Jolie has more than a handful of children in her brood, so it’s no surprise that the actress loves gushing about ... Read more »

Will Iran’s Censorship, Looming Internet Shutdown Dash Mehdi Rajabian’s Grammy Chances?

Mehdi Rajabian Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian would like nothing more than to be nominated for a Grammy. But the Iranian government’s plans to shut down communications to the outside ... Read more »

It's 'Lit'! Kim Kardashian's Kids Throw Her a 41st Birthday Party

Best birthday! Kim Kardashian’s kids helped her celebrate her 41st year on Thursday, October 21. © Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian’s Greatest Quotes About Motherhood Read article “The party ... Read more »

Adele calls divorce her 'biggest ever risk'

Adele says her divorce from Simon Konecki was her “biggest risk”. © Bang Showbiz Adele The ‘Easy on Me’ hitmaker – who announced their breakup in April 2019 after a ... Read more »

What 'Dune' Author Frank Herbert Said About the 1984 David Lynch Adaptation (Flashback)

© Universal Pictures Dune, the new star-studded epic from Denis Villeneuve, is getting positive reviews and praise for its visual interpretation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic. Before the author ... Read more »

Carrie Underwood can't stand her husband's collection of 'dead things on the walls'

Carrie Underwood gets frustrated with her husband’s belongings cluttering up their home. © Bang Showbiz Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood The ‘Love Wins’ singer has revealed what really grinds her ... Read more »

Shanna Shuts Down Troll Who Says Her Kids Will Be Kardashian 'Royalty'

Don’t knock her crown. Shanna Moakler fired back at an Instagram troll who claimed her kids will become part of reality TV “royalty” following Travis Barker‘s engagement to Kourtney Kardashian. ... Read more »

Penn Badgley Names the 'Worst' Thing Dan Humphrey Did on 'Gossip Girl'

© Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic Unlike his fictional counterpart, Penn Badgley has plenty of Gossip Girl secrets he’s willing to tell! The 34-year-old actor, who famously played Dan Humphrey on the hit teen ... Read more »

Selma Blair Reflects on Having Her Son Arthur Shave Her Head Ahead of Stem Cell Transplant (Exclusive)

© ET Selma Blair is sharing her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS) in her new documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair. The neurological disease is something the 49-year-old actress has been battling ... Read more »

Dove Cameron on Keeping Her Love Life Private and What She's Learned On Tour (Exclusive)

© etonline Dove Cameron has had a change of heart about openly discussing her love life. ET spoke to the 25-year-old “LazyBaby” singer, and she revealed why she’s decided to ... Read more »

We Tasted 5 Fast-Food Chicken Nuggets and These Are the Best

1/6 SLIDES © Shutterstock We Tasted 5 Fast-Food Chicken Nuggets and These Are the Best There’s something so satisfying about dunking a fresh, hot chicken nugget into the dipping sauce of ... Read more »

Highest-rated dessert shops in Albany, according to Tripadvisor

1/10 SLIDES © Canva Highest-rated dessert shops in Albany, according to Tripadvisor Research—and plenty of anecdotal evidence—shows that people tend to eat more calories and crave more sweet foods in the ... Read more »

The most shocking lies ever told by celebrities

1/30 SLIDES © Getty Images The most shocking lies ever told by celebrities We all tell lies—it’s just part of being human. And, of course, celebrities are no exception. Some of ... Read more »

Highest-rated dessert shops in Newark, according to Tripadvisor

1/12 SLIDES © Canva Highest-rated dessert shops in Newark, according to Tripadvisor Research—and plenty of anecdotal evidence—shows that people tend to eat more calories and crave more sweet foods in the ... Read more »

Celebrity Weddings of 2021: See Which Stars Tied the Knot

1/63 SLIDES © Courtesy Sarah Levy/Instagram Even a pandemic can’t stop wedding bells from ringing. As the world slowly began to open back up in 2021 following the COVID-19 crisis, stars ... Read more »

Hilarious snaps reveal bizarre ways people overcome everyday issues

1/12 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail It can be more sustainable and cost effective to solve a problem in your house using creativity instead of going to the shops, but ... Read more »

Gene Simmons puts his Las Vegas mansion on the market for $14.95m

1/17 SLIDES © Evangelina Duke-Petroni | The Ivan Sher Group Quick turnaround: Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, 72, is selling his home near Las Vegas for $14.95 million, People reported on Thursday. ... Read more »

11 Secrets Texas Roadhouse Doesn't Want You to Know

1/12 SLIDES © Provided by Eat This, Not That! 11 Secrets Texas Roadhouse Doesn’t Want You to Know When you really want a nice juicy steak and all the sides, but ... Read more »

ABBA release third track Just A Notion from upcoming comeback album

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo ABBA have released Just A Notion – the third track from their upcoming November 5 comeback album, Voyage. The iconic Swedish pop group – ... Read more »

Hunter Hayes Resurrects a Song Six Years in the Making — Courtesy of 'Tell Me'

Hunter Hayes has always been one to follow his instincts. He’s never questioned his gut and he’s never been scared to turn left when the world is telling him to ... Read more »

London's gateway to the world: Images show life at UK's biggest port

1/12 SLIDES © Provided by Daily Mail London’s gateway to the world for 200 years: Rarely-seen images capture life at UK’s biggest port since 19th century, when ‘knocker-uppers’ fired peas at ... Read more »

13 Cozy Chicken Pot Pie Recipes That Are Actually Healthy

1/15 SLIDES © Provided by Eat This, Not That! 13 Cozy Chicken Pot Pie Recipes That Are Actually Healthy On a stressful or nerve-wracking day, nothing is better than coming home ... Read more »

These stars appeared on game shows before they were famous

1/30 SLIDES © Getty Images These stars appeared on game shows before they were famous Many people would leap at the chance to get their 15 minutes of fame on a ... Read more »