9 Years Ago: Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’ Goes Platinum
Nine years ago today, on Dec. 16, 2009, Lady Antebellum had one million reasons to celebrate: It was on that date that the trio's single "Need You Now," released on Aug. 24 of that same year, earned platinum status.
"Need You Now" was the title track of Lady A's sophomore album, written by bandmates Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, along with songwriter Josh Kear, but the song almost didn't happen: The day of their writing session was Kelley's wife Cassie's birthday, and he debated spending the day with her instead of in a writing room. Thankfully, he kept the appointment, and the rest is history.
"It was one of those songs that came together really quickly," Kelley tells The Boot. "But truthfully, I don’t think we really knew what we had when we walked out of there that day! We thought we’d just written a couple of good songs."
Indeed they did, and with plenty of time for Kelley to celebrate with his wife.
"It was the second song we wrote that day," Kear recalls. "We were only together for two and a half hours. We finished the first one in the first 45 minutes. Charles had a guitar thing and an opening line for a song, and we wrote "Need You Now" really fast and went, 'Great, that was fun.'"
Heartbreaking lines such as "Another shot of whiskey, can't stop looking at the door / Wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before / And I wonder if I ever cross your mind / For me it happens all the time" within "Need You Now" resonated with each of Lady Antebellum's members.
"All three of us know what it's like to get to that point where you feel lonely enough that you make a late-night phone call that you very well could regret the next day," Scott says. "But you do it anyway because it's the only thing that's going to give you any relief in that moment."
Still, the threesome admits that when they were choosing songs for their Need You Now record, "Need You Now" almost didn't make the final cut.
“This is something that Capitol can hold over our head forever because we came in there, and we showed them all of these songs,” Kelley admits. “And I said, ‘Well, I’ve got a couple of other ones, too. I don’t think that you’re going to think they’re that great, but it’s worth showing you.’ And it was just a little acoustic guitar thing, and everybody’s ears perked up, and the engineer came on, and they said, ‘You need to give that one a shot.’
"So sure enough we did, and it is our biggest single to date," he adds. "So we recognize that we don’t know everything!"
"Need You Now" stayed at No. 1 for five consecutive weeks and sold more than 6 million copies in the United States. The album of the same name debuted at No. 1 when it was released on Jan. 26, 2010, and the single won numerous awards, including four Grammys, a CMA Award, two ACM Awards and the BMI Pop Award, among others.
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