June 26, 2009 — With its crafty harmonies and buoyant stage presence, Lady Antebellum has quickly emerged as one of country music's top groups — even though the trio has thus far released just one album.
Lady A picked up a nomination at the Grammy Awards this year for Best New Artist, pitting the band against pop acts Adele, Duffy and the Jonas Brothers, as well as R&B newcomer Jazmine Sullivan. It was appropriate company for Lady A's Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood.
"People would be surprised to know that I listen to a lot of R&B and rap," Hillary told The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. "My nickname on the bus is 'Dance Party.' I can't stop listening to Ne-Yo."
Underscoring the multi-genre influences, Charles has the vocal timbre of a soul singer, and Lady A regularly covers John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good" during concerts on Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival. That's not too far removed from Kenny's attitude — he's got a member of the Wailers in his road band and has been known to whip out covers of the Steve Mille r Band and Tom Petty.
But while many of Kenny's songs celebrate alcohol and its pleasures, Lady Antebellum does very little partying on the road.
"You can't, honestly," Hillary says, "because the voice is the first thing to go. Plus, we're working on the new record when we're in Nashville, and we can't use that time to recover from the weekend. I'm not going to lie — we are having a great time. But there are no keg stands and beer bongs."
There may be reason for partying in the near future, though. Charles is getting set to marry music publicist Cassie McConnell, and the formal event with family and friends is likely soon. Country Aircheck reports they tied the knot earlier this week in advance of a "destination" ceremony.
The band's destination this weekend with Kenny is Philadelphia, where they'll play Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the NFL's Eagles. Also on the bill: Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry and Miranda Lambert.