While Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" was a smash in country music, holding the #1 position on the singles chart for a consecutive five straight weeks, the song is now making an unexpected splash in the pop world. Charles Kelley tells Billboard, "We had no intentions of this ever crossing over... It definitely surprised us all."
He says that while he's thrilled with the success, nobody has to worry about Lady A switching music formats..."Well, first and foremost we're country artists. The song just started getting played, you know, randomly, and so our label obviously saw some opportunity there and has pursued it and it's been exciting for us, you know, basically to reach more fans. But we're not going anywhere. It just happens to be the sound of this record. But it's been cool to see. It's obviously been great for our career, but we're not going anywhere."
Charles hopes that people who don't necessarily listen to country music will have their eyes opened to the tunes originating from MusicCity. He shares, "Country music as a whole is broadening its sound so much that people outside the genre are realizing there is a whole lot of great music coming out of [Nashville]. Taylor Swift opened up the door, Rascal Flatts did, Shania Twain. It's nothing new."
However, with Lady A's broadening popularity, there sometimes a price to be paid, which Kelley admits is "a little scary." He explains, "We know we're on the cusp of our lives changing dramatically over the next year... We've enjoyed a certain amount of anonymity, so to speak, being in just the country genre. When you open yourself to the pop genre, the fans, the critics, everybody can be really harsh." Charles goes on, "We're human, and when you read certain reviews that butcher your music and they're clearly not by country fans, that definitely hurts our feelings. But this is what we dreamed about doing, and it will come with a certain price."