Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley met when they were in middle school in Augusta, but they didn’t start writing songs together until they were in college—both earning degrees in finance—at the University of Georgia. Kelley, whose brother Josh is an established country singer, left a job as an accountant in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2005 to move to Nashville and pursue songwriting. Three months later, he talked Haywood into ditching his job in Georgia and doing the same. The pair began posting their demos on MySpace, which is how Hilary Scott, daughter of country music singer Linda Davis, first heard their music.
In the summer of 2006, Kelley, Haywood and Scott began writing songs together, and later they debuted at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley club as Lady Antebellum. Very quickly, the trio generated a buzz, and it wasn’t long before Capitol Records came calling, bringing Paul Worley—responsible for the Dixie Chicks’ first two albums—and singer/songwriter Victoria Shaw along to produce the group’s self-titled debut. The first single, “Love Don’t Live Here,” released in fall of 2007, peaked at No. 3 on "Billboard’s" Hot Country Chart, and by the time the album was released in spring of 2008, it debuted at No. 1 on "Billboard’s" Top Country Albums chart. The subsequent single, “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” peaked at No. 11, and “I Run to You,” the third cut, slowly climbed its way to the No. 1 spot. Just a year later, “Need You Now,” the leadoff single and title track from the band’s not-yet-released second album, not only became Lady Antebellum’s second No. 1 country single, but also reached No. 1 on "Billboard’s" Hot Adult Contemporary chart and No. 2 on the trade magazine’s Hot 100 chart. “Need You Now,” a crossover smash, was inescapable on radio and helped drive the next two singles, “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love,” to the No. 1 spot as well. Both the debut album and "Need You Now" were certified platinum, selling over a million copies each.
Since then, Lady Antebellum has released a third and fourth album, "Own the Night" and "Golden," as well as a Christmas album, "On This Winter’s Night." In just a few short years after their MySpace meeting, the three musicians have earned numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association and picked up seven Grammy Awards as well, including “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” for “Need You Now” in 2011 and “Best Country Album” in 2011 and 2012. As established Nashville artists, they are all involved in various collaborations with other artists and recently organized LadyAid Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to bring awareness to and generate support for children in need locally, nationally and globally.