"You can't work in the studio till midnight when you have a kid at home," Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley says of balancing parenting and a music career

By Eileen Finan
January 30, 2017 07:15 PM
Eric Ray Davidson

There’s a lot to love about being a mom or dad, but anyone who’s been there knows that diaper duty and midnight feedings can put a damper on the creative process.

So when the members of Lady Antebellum reunited after a year-long hiatus to work on their new album, they were given a little gift from their spouses: a brief vacation from parenting.

“We have an 11-month-old boy and he still wakes up in the middle of the night and super early,” lead singer and guitarist Charles Kelley told reporters at a Nashville press conference of his son Ward Charles.

“I love it, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, but you can’t work in the studio till midnight when you have a kid at home,” adds Kelley, 35. “So my wife took over on that one.”

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The trio spent time in Florida and then a full month in Los Angeles living together, much of the time without their families, writing and recording the songs for their upcoming album Heart Break.

“Of course families were there in and out, but those 2-in-the-morning feedings, I didn’t have to do,” Kelley said.

“Our spouses made a lot of big sacrifices for us to be out there,” adds Dave Haywood, whose son Cash Van is 2.

Hillary Scott, whose daughter Eisele Kaye is 3½, says her husband — Lady Antebellum drummer Chris Tyrrell — made handling domestic duties “look so easy.”

“I’m so thankful. He holds down the house and our daughter, our dogs, the entire circus that is our house,” she says.

But the singer, 30, did manage to sneak in a family field trip or two. “[My husband and daughter] came in about half way through the trip and we got to take Eisele to Disneyland, which she calls Princess Land,” Scott says. “So we got to have some really good family time.”

And when the band takes their show on the road, she affirms that family will be on board.

“We did the tour to Europe when Eisele was a little over a year old and it was the longest we were ever away [from her]. I swore I would never do it again,” Scott says of taking their 2015 Wheels Up tour overseas. “So she’ll be with us, pretty much everywhere. The world spins right when we are all together.”

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Kelley says his wife Cassie will bring Ward on the bus when the band kicks off their 65-plus date You Look Good tour on May 26.

“We’ve got the bunk with the little gate on it, and it’s padded around there. It’s fun to have that kind of home life,” he says. “It’s such a different thing – right before you go on stage, you’re bathing your baby and putting him to bed and then you have to flip that switch and an hour later jump on stage and try to be a rock star.”

He continues, “It’s really weird! Before, we’d be drinking and playing ping pong for four hours before every show.”

Scott chimes in, “And now we’re reading Goodnight Moon!”

“And cleaning up poo poo!” says Haywood, 34, who says his son and wife Kelli, who works full time in Nashville, will be with the band on weekend dates. “It’s fun to watch the kids play together. I can’t wait to be out there on the weekends and watch them.”

Scott says the band’s three little ones are beginning to bond just like their parents have. “It’s just so sweet to see their friendship really start to grow,” she shares. “When we got to L.A. and Eisele and Cash saw each other, Eisele was like, ‘Cash! I’ve missed you!’ “