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Little Big Town on celebrating 25 years of harmony with upcoming tour and "Greatest Hits" album

Little Big Town is celebrating 25 years as a trailblazing country music group, keeping all four of its original members.The band is set to embark on a tour in September alongside country duo Sugarland.

With their harmonious four-part vocals, Little Big Town has carved out a unique space in country music. They are a group where both fame and vocals are equally shared among members Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook.

The band's Kimberly Schlapman said she's never have reflected on their success but realizes they've achieved something unique together. 

"I think that's probably the key to why we keep going because we never, ever fully think that we're there. It's like the hunger to see what's around the corner," said Fairchild.

25 years and a "Greatest Hits" album

The band is marking its 25th anniversary with the release of their "Greatest Hits" album this summer. 

"We want to do this for the fans," Fairchild said. 

With 32 chart-topping hits, they have a vast catalog to choose from, including favorite songs like "Pontoon" and "Wine, Beer, Whiskey."

Little Big Town's journey began in the mid-90s when Schlapman and Fairchild met in college. Initially, both Schlapman and Fairchild were pursuing solo careers in country music. 

They began brainstorming and realized there wasn't a mixed-gender group like The Mamas & the Papas or Fleetwood Mac. This led them to envision what such a group could look like — which eventually led to the creation of the band.

Their unique concept took shape and led them to their first record deal in 1999, with their debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry. Despite facing setbacks, including two failed record deals, their perseverance paid off with the release of "Boondocks" in 2005, a song that became their breakthrough hit. 

"'Boondocks' was like the little star that could, and we just couldn't believe it," said Sweet.

Tragedy and triumph

In the same year as their breakthrough, tragedy struck when Schlapman's husband died of a heart attack. The band members, including Schlapman, were at a radio station in Indianapolis when they heard the news after Schlapman received a phone call from her pastor and a police officer. 

"She was screaming, and the four of us just laid together on the bathroom floor," said Fairchild.

"I couldn't even walk, and they walked me into the bathroom. Couldn't walk for myself. So they carried me, and then they kept carrying me for months and months and months until I could walk again," Schlapman said. "And that is why we're still sitting here."

After all they have been through, Little Big Town remains as close as ever. Schlapman remarried, Sweet and Fairchild also found love, and Fairchild and Westbrook married each other. Now, they all have kids and often raise them on the road. 

As they celebrate their silver anniversary, the band members are grateful for their journey, and hope to spread the unity they've found among themselves to their audience this fall when they embark on the tour. 

"Our legacy is the perseverance. Hopefully… kindness. You know, now we need some kindness back," said Fairchild.

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