Seven-time Grammy winners Lady Antebellum, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi received honors at the 2014 Grammy’s On The Hill Awards in Washington D.C. in early April. The annual event unites musicians and politicians to raise money for music education programs across the country.
Since Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott began playing together as Lady Antebellum eight years ago, they’ve sold more than 11 million albums worldwide and won seven Grammy Awards. But as Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy explains, that’s not the only reason why Lady A was honored at the Grammy’s on The Hill this year.
“When we look at the artist community, we look at artists who give back," he said. "They walk the walk and not just talk the talk. They have their own foundation, they do lots of good in this country and around the world. So they’re a great honoree for us.”
The band’s charitable foundation is called LadyAid. Lead singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott explain the efforts they are putting into raising money to help children.
“We’ve got five different organizations that are a part of the LadyAid organization," Kelley said. "We’re always putting on different events. Last year, we only had this little ping pong tournament at the CMA [Country Music Association] Festival, a kind of fun little even that raised some good money.”
“And then there are a handful of our shows this summer that a portion of the ticket [price] will go to it," Scott said. ""We’re really just starting to raise awareness and continuing to spread the word about it It’s got a lot of growing yet to do. We have high hopes that it will just continue to get bigger and bigger and generate more money to give to these organizations to protect and support and encourage children. That’s the heart of it.”
Prior to the awards ceremony, the musicians mingled with lawmakers. And before the evening was over, they did more than mingle. As the finale to the show, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives took up tambourines and maracas and joined Lady Antebellum onstage. There was no rehearsal ahead of time, but that didn’t scare Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott or Dave Haywood.
“We fly by the seat of our pants,” Scott said.
That’s the best way to do it,” Haywood said. “That’s ‘Music 101.’ You’ve got to just get up there and wing it!”