100 Greatest Women, #72: Hillary Scott

100 Greatest Women: 10th Anniversary Edition

#72

Hillary Scott

2008 Edition: New Entry

As a key vocalist in Lady Antebellum, along with her own work in the Contemporary Christian field, Hillary Scott has been one of the most successful new female artists in recent years.

Scott is the daughter of country singer Linda Davis and businessman Lang Scott, and she was born and raised in Nashville. After performing on stage with her mother, she chose to pursue a professional music career. She pursued a degree from Middle Tennessee State University while attempting to launch a solo career, auditioning twice for American Idol.  Scott then met Charles Kelley at a Nashville bar, and when the two of them later hooked up with Dave Haywood, they formed Lady Antebellum.

Unlike many stories of groups laboring long in the shadows, Lady Antebellum were successful remarkably quickly.  They performed together for the first time in the summer of 2006, and by fall 2007, they already had a contract with Capitol Nashville and their debut single, “Love Don’t Live Here,” was climbing the charts, becoming a top three hit in early 2008. The follow up single, “Lookin’ For a Good Time,” was the first to feature Scott as one of the lead vocalists.  The final single from their debut album, “I Run to You,” featured Scott as well, and it went to #1 and won the trio their first CMA Award for Single of the Year and a Grammy Award as well.

Their self-titled debut album eventually went double platinum, and they followed it with their biggest commercial success, the quadruple platinum Need You Now.  The title track became their signature hit. Again, they won the CMA Award for Single of the Year, and the group won five Grammys for the single and its album.  At this time, they were also dominating the Vocal Group awards at both the CMA and ACM ceremonies.  Their third album, Own the Night, continued their winning streak, earning them another Grammy and producing two #1 country hits.

In recent years, Lady Antebellum has remained a mainstay on country radio, although their popularity has cooled compared to the halcyon days of their first three albums. Scott has not limited her work to Lady Antebellum in those years. A collaboration with her family, including mother Linda Davis, was released in 2016 under the moniker, Hillary Scott & The Scott Family.  Their first album together produced the #1 Christian hit, “Thy Will.”  Scott added to her Grammy collection with the project, which earned hardware for Best Contemporary Christian Album and Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song.  Scott has also found additional success as a songwriter, including co-writing “A Little Bit Stronger,” a #1 hit for for Sara Evans in 2010.

Currently, Scott is touring the country with Lady Antebellum in support of their seventh album, Heart Break, which earned them another Grammy nomination in 2018.  The band also received a Tony Nomination for their contribution the score of SpongeBob Squarepants, a musical now playing on Broadway.

Essential Singles

  • I Run to You (Lady Antebellum), 2009
  • Need You Now (Lady Antebellum), 2009
  • A Little Bit Stronger (Sara Evans), 2010
  • Just a Kiss (Lady Antebellum), 2011
  • Bartender (Lady Antebellum), 2014
  • Thy Will (Hillary Scott & The Scott Family), 2016

Essential Albums

  • Lady Antebellum (2008)
  • Need You Now (2010)
  • Own the Night (2011)
  • Love Remains (2016)

Industry Awards

  • Academy of Country Music
    • Album of the Year
      • Need You Now, 2011
    • Jim Reeves International Award, 2013
    • Single of the Year
      • Need You Now, 2010
    • Song of the Year
      • Need You Now, 2010
    • Top New Vocal Duo or Group, 2008
    • Top Vocal Group, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • British Country Music Association Awards
    • International Song of the Year
      • We Owned the Night, 2012
  • Country Music Association Awards
    • International Artist Achievement Award, 2012
    • New Artist of the Year, 2008
    • Single of the Year
      • I Run to You, 2009
      • Need You Now, 2010
    • Vocal Group of the Year, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Grammy Awards
    • Best Contemporary Christian Album
      • Love Remains, 2017
    • Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song
      • Thy Will, 2017
    • Best Country Album
      • Need You Now, 2011
      • Own the Night, 2012
    • Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
      • I Run to You, 2010
      • Need You Now, 2011
    • Best Country Song
      • Need You Now, 2011
    • Record of the Year
      • Need You Now, 2011
    • Song of the Year
      • Need You Now, 2011

100 Greatest Women: 10th Anniversary Edition

Next: #71. Kacey Musgraves

Previous: #73. k.d. lang

 

5 Comments

  1. I always had mixed feelings about Lady Antebellum. I want to like them, but most of their output I feel lukewarm to. I love I Run To You and Need You Now, but most of their songs falls into the categories of decent, generic, or bad. I feel Hillary is a passable singer and decent songwriter (She help give Sara Evans one of the best songs of her amazing career with A Little Bit Stronger). I would be interested in a solo album.

  2. Lady Antebellum themselves have always been frustrating. But for me Hillary Scott is one of my favorite female solo singers and I usually never blame her, my problem with them is that their production is always so off and inconsistent, that and I know Charles Kelly is a good singer but he sounds bored sometimes. Which is a shame because he himself is also capable of making great music.

    Hillary Scott has a really great singing voice that works for me in songs like “American Honey”, “Need You Now” and their current single “Heart Break”.

    Lady Antebellum’s fall from stardom can really be traced back to “Goodbye Town” in 2013. That song derailed the Golden album era badly and ever since then their career has been throw anything at the wall and see if it sticks. Also I’ll never get the asinine decision to release “Freestyle” a couple years later. Which is weird because both are essentially Charles Kelly lead tunes.

    Anyways back to Hillary Scott. I would love a pure solo album from her, because she is really talented. She has a really warmness and sincerity in her singing voice that makes it hard to dislike. She is a great singer at expressing loneliness and sadness, hence why “Need You Now” works so well.

    This is definitely a fair spot. Was hoping she could make the Top 60, but the more I thought about it, the more just around the Top 70 is good.

  3. Agree w PC “most of their output I feel lukewarm to. I love I Run To You and Need You Now, but most of their songs falls into the categories of decent, generic, or bad. I feel Hillary is a passable singer”. Haven’t played them much the last few years. The funky “Downtown” is my 3rd most frequently played Lady A song.

  4. Hillary Scott is known for not being a particularly good singer, but I agree with Raymond that her voice has a warmth to it that I appreciate. Like Bob, “Down Town” is probably my favorite Lady A song. It’s production is quirky rather than Lady A’s typical generic/boring productions.

  5. I definitely think this is an appropriate relative rankingfor Scott. There’s something to be said for the fact that, in the ten-year span from, say, 2007-2017, she was the most frequently-heard woman on country radio after Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift and ahead of Miranda Lambert and Karen Fairchild.

    But I’m on record as finding her to be a marginal talent. She showed an interesting sense of phrasing on Lady A’s debut, but her singing choices have been consistently poor since then. And she has as unreliable a sense of pitch as Swift. If Lady A weren’t so committed to being so deeply dull, that would be less of a problem, but, as is, I’m just not much of a fan.

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