Newsmakers

Lady Antebellum on New Record, Foundation, Ping Pong


Country music's superstar trio, Lady Antebellum, are no strangers to gold and other precious metals.

After seven Grammy awards, a self-titled double platinum debut album and a triple platinum second record, the title of their latest album, 'Golden' is entirely appropriate.

In a Newsmakers interview with Linsey Davis for ABC News and Yahoo News, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott of the country pop music ensemble, said their new record is different from their last three. This record, they said, focuses on "roll down your windows" tracks that are perfect for long road trips.

"I think that our last couple of records were pretty serious in its content," Kelley said. "We keep calling it our 'roll down your windows' record. This definitely has some serious songs and some love songs but for the most part it is tempo driven, a lot more fun."

The name "Golden" comes from the song of the same name, which was the last track the group wrote for the album. The song was so special that the group recorded it the day after it was written.

"Whenever we wrote it, it reminded us so much of the first times we would sit down in a room to write together for the first time in 2006 before we were even a band," Scott said. "Just had this really special feeling to it and it was song that we were really proud of and loved. More than that it felt like we were getting back to how it all started. "

The group wrote about half of the songs on "Golden." Their collaborative writing process includes the group members and often a writer and even their bandmates.

"Ideas [for songs] can come from anywhere," Kelley said. "Someone may come in with a title for something, Dave usually, we start with the melody, Dave with the guitar progression that he likes and we'll just start humming and mumbling and then something will come out."

On "Golden," the songs speak for themselves, the group said. The album includes some of the best songs that we've gotten in a long time and theybelieve it's stronger than their last albums.

"Everybody says their newest record is the best album yet and for everybody that works for us, I haven't seen them this excited about a project in a long time," Kelley said. "That makes us feel really good."

Along with a new album, the members of Lady Antebellum have also started a new foundation, called the Lady Aid Foundation.

"When we sat down to talk about what we wanted our mission to be, who we wanted to speak up for and it was children across the board," Scott said. "We just felt that any way we can protect raise money for medical research, anything that has to do with children, that's what we wanted to do."

Their foundation works with St. Jude Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in their hometown of Nashville and the Children's Miracle Network.

One way they're raising money is through a ping pong tournament. Haywood and Kelley play ping pong backstage at every show, Scott said.

"You know what, we love playing ping pong we just thought it would be fun," Kelley said. "There's all these golf tournaments, we wanted to do something different. You've never heard of a ping pong charity tournament, well we haven't, we thought it would be a lot of fun."

When it comes to their ping pong game, Kelley and Haywood call themselves "the Dynasty" but they're ready for some real competition.

"I'm afraid to see, I know there's going to be some hustlers out there, these real players that come out and absolutely kill us," Kelley joked.

Lady Antebellum's new album, "Golden," drops May 7.

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