Like so many others, the members of Lady A—Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood—have grown more aware of the plight of the Black Americans in the wake of racial injustice suffered over the past year. The trio didn’t just sit on the sidelines hoping something would change, however. They bravely led the way by officially shortening their band name to Lady A back in June.
But for the award-winning group, this racial reckoning has been far more than a name change. “I’ve definitely tried to set the intention more of being a student, waking up every day and looking for lessons to learn and looking for wise counsel,” Scott shares. “I’ve been trying to really just go deeper in my ability to empathize with people, with all people. And I think that’s our greatest work as human beings—just continuing to figure out how to be more loving and kind and empathetic.”
Scott says she’s had a lot of conversations with friends and family about the issue and even took a private class on racial diversity.
Kelley has set out on a spiritual odyssey and confesses it’s shaped his point of view in the midst of so much division. “It’s brought me a lot closer to my faith,” he admits. Lady A even notched their first No. 1 single on the Christian charts in 2020 with “Who You Are To Me,” a collaboration with worship artist Chris Tomlin.
“If you had asked me years ago if I would be a part of a Christian song going No. 1, I would’ve said you were crazy,” Kelley says. “Although I believed, my faith was definitely not in the right place to be a part of something like this without feeling like a fraud. Over the past couple years, I’ve thankfully connected with God in more ways than I ever had before and continue to try and grow that relationship. This year has only strengthened that relationship as I’ve needed to lean on that faith more than ever.”
Meanwhile, Haywood began dialoguing with a friend from his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, who happens to be a professor at Augusta University. The two men got into a habit of talking regularly, their discussions ranging from racial reconciliation and history to football.
“We would just learn a lot together, and he really shared with me the importance of first-generation students, people of color, having a chance at education and how life-changing that can be,” Haywood explains, “not only for them, but for their families and for generations to come.”
As a result of their intentional heart work, the GRAMMY®-winning group put their money where their mouth is and created the LadyAID Scholarship Fund. Open to applicants in their home states of Georgia and Tennessee, the special endowment works to support students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the hopes of relieving financial barriers to higher education and empowering Black communities.
The “Like A Lady” singers initially launched their LadyAID philanthropy in 2012 to benefit a variety of organizations, many of which help vulnerable children in need. Previous LadyAID partners include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and My Life Speaks, among others.