Ask any country fan, and they’ll tell you that “Need You Now is one of the most recognizable country ballads today.
Released in 2009, the song served as the lead-off single and title track to Lady A’s sophomore studio album of the same name. While the band knew they had a good song, they didn’t realize just how good it was until it soared to No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs and stayed on top for five consecutive weeks. It even earned the trio crossover success, finding its way to various pop and adult contemporary music charts.
The song also won numerous awards, like four Grammys including Song of the Year and Record of the Year, a CMA Award, two ACM Awards, and the BMI Pop Award. “Need You Now” definitely placed Lady A on the map.
And in what may seem like a beyond-belief series of events, Darius Rucker enlisted international pop sensation Adele to join him in a moving duet of Lady A’s chart-topping single during 2010 CMT Artists of the Year Ceremony.
Adele’s powerful voice, paired with Rucker’s deep southern vocals, delivered a sultry duet of “Need You Now” full of soul and passion. Recognized for her fiercely passionate approach to all of her performances, Adele’s moving performance of the country trio’s emotional ballad left Lady A’s Hillary Scott in tears.
Adele On Her Country Roots
While the addition of a British pop singer in a night made to celebrate country artists may seem pretty random, Adele has a deep connection with “Need You Now.” She credits the song as the inspiration behind her heartbreaking ballad, “Don’t You Remember.”
“It’s got quite a country tinge to it. What gave me the courage to try to do that musically was ‘Need You Now,'” Adele told CMT. “You could not even change your radio station without it being played. You couldn’t escape it and, luckily, I loved it! (laughs) Or it would have been awful! But the feeling the song gave me, I was trying to channel it in my own song.”
A Massive Country Hit From The American Trio
Written by Lady A’s Charles Kelly, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott with Josh Kear, “Need You Now” is a song “about what we are learning as we go through the ups and downs of different relationships,” 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,” she added. “But you do it anyway because it’s the only thing that’s going to give you any relief in that moment.”
Josh Kear once revealed how quickly they wrote the song during the pre-telecast segment of the Grammy awards. “Actually, it was the second song we wrote that day,” he said. “We were only together for two-and-a-half hours. We finished the first one in the first forty-five minutes.” Afterward, they went their separate ways, and the next thing they know, “it’s on the record, title track, first single, and here we are.” The rest was history.
“Need You Now” became the first million-selling album in 2010 while only in its fourth week of release. It was also the first title to sell a million so early in a year since 2005. “It was one of those songs that came together really quickly. 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,” Kelley told The Boot.
You can watch Adele and Darius Rucker’s heart-wrenching duet of “Need You Now” in the video below!