The Story of... 'Need You Now' by Lady Antebellum

16 January 2020, 13:48

Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
Picture: Capitol

By Tom Eames

It's one of the most recognisable country ballads of all time, and a true modern classic.

In fact, Lady Antebellum's ode to late-night longings came second in our Top 50 greatest songs of the 2010s and number one in our favourite country songs of the decade.

But what inspired the massive country hit from the American trio? Here's all the interesting facts behind the fantastic song:

  1. Who wrote 'Need You Now'?

    Josh Kear (in front) with Lady Antebellum after winning Song of the Year in 2010
    Josh Kear (in front) with Lady Antebellum after winning Song of the Year in 2010. Picture: Getty

    The three band members - Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood - wrote the song with Josh Kear.

    Kear is a famous country songwriter, who has penned many hits such as 'Before He Cheats' by Carrie Underwood and 'Highway Don't Care' by Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.

  2. What is the song about?

    The song describes calling someone in the middle of the night due to feeling lonely and longing for some closeness.

    Hillary Scott said: "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."

    Charles Kelley told The Boot that the band's record label initially had concerns regarding the lyrics "I'm a little drunk", but he managed to convince them to leave the line in.

  3. The song was written surprisingly quickly

    Lady Antebellum
    Lady Antebellum. Picture: Getty

    Josh Kear explained how quickly the song was finished during an interview at the Grammy awards.

    He said: "Actually, it was the second song we wrote that day. 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.'

    "It was the first day I'd ever spent with them. They went their separate ways: it was Charles wife's birthday, I went home to my wife. Next thing you know it, it's on the record, title track, first single and here we are.

    "It was actually the very last song they played for the label for deciding what songs were going to put on the album."

  4. Where was the video filmed?

    The video starts in a hallway of a hotel where Kelley is sitting against a wall, and Scott is in her room, while Haywood plays the piano.

    Kelley goes to a cafe and has a coffee, where Haywood arrives with his partner. Scott then leaves her room and grabs a taxi. Kelley leaves the cafe walks to a costume ball, which Scott is also traveling to.

    When they arrive, they both see their new love interests wearing masks and hug them. Haywood then arrives with his partner.

    The video was filmed at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.

  5. It was a HUGE hit in the US

    The song spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in late 2009.

    In 2010, it crossed over into the mainstream pop charts, reaching the top five hit in Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. It won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards.

    In March 2010, the song became their highest-charting single on the main Billboard Hot 100, reaching number two. This was the best position for a country song by a group on the chart since Lonestar's 'Amazed' in 2000.

    It has sold over 5 million copies, making it one of the most downloaded songs of all time.

    In the UK, it reached number 15 in 2010 - a rare feat for a country song at the time.

  6. Who has covered the song?

    In December 2010, Adele and Darius Rucker performed the song at the CMT Artists of the Year.

    In 2012, Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole performed a duet at the Diamond Jubilee concert in London.

    In 2017, Shane Filan of Westlife covered the song on his album Love Always.

    There was also a cover in 2014 by... Englebert Humperdinck and Lulu!