Two men from Columbia County and their bandmate from Nashville are atop the country music world right now.
David Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, better known as Lady Antebellum, have earned seven nominations for Academy of Country Music Awards, are regulars on interview couches of television shows from The View to The Late Show With David Letterman (including a performance on Letterman's show Monday night), and are regulars on Billboard magazine's Top 10 lists.
They earned more nominations than anyone else for the Academy of Country Music honors, which will be broadcast April 18 by CBS.
They were nominated for best vocal group and album of the year for their self-titled debut. Their song Need You Now , off its sophomore release of the same name, earned nods as best video, single of the year, and song of the year, along with production and composition nominations.
For perspective, Lady Antebellum led Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, who each earned six nominations.
Another band with Georgia ties, the Zac Brown Band, is up for best vocal group, best album (The Foundation) and single (Toes). Brown earned individual nominations for production duties for the album and for single record.
Haywood and Kelley met at Riverside Middle School and are 2000 graduates of Lakeside High School.
Haywood is the son of Dr. Van Haywood, a Medical College of Georgia dentistry professor, and Angie Haywood, a schoolteacher.
Kelley is the son of Dr. John W. Kelley, an Augusta cardiologist, and Gayle Kelley, of Winston-Salem, N.C.
Haywood and Kelley are University of Georgia graduates: Kelley earned a degree in finance and Haywood a degree in management information systems. They met Scott and formed the group after moving to Nashville, Tenn., in 2006.
The group will perform Wednesdsay and Thursday in sold-out shows at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Kelley's brother Josh Kelley will open.