​Little Big Town: Our lives are like a country song


In an interview for "Sunday Morning," the band members talk to Anthony Mason about the heartbreak that shaped their success.

CBS News

Having survived divorces, a death, and being dropped by a record label on the way to becoming one of the hottest groups in country music make Little Big Town a "living, breathing country song," band members say in an interview with Anthony Mason for CBS' "Sunday Morning."

The four members of the group -- Philip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook -- are known for tight harmonies, as heard in their current crossover hit, "Girl Crush." However, not so long ago, the future of the group was uncertain. Their record label dropped them in 2004; then, over the next two years, two band members got divorced, and Schlapman's husband, Steven Roads (who was also the band's lawyer), died suddenly.

"I didn't know she would sing again after Steve died," Fairchild says of Schlapman in an interview to be broadcast June 21 on CBS.

"I didn't want to," Schlapman adds.

"There was so much sorrow in her eyes," says Fairchild. "I kind of thought the band was over."

But the group began to recover when Schlapman asked Fairchild, Sweet and Westbook to sing at Roads' funeral. During their performance, Schlapman rose from her seat and joined them to sing. She called it "probably the most spiritual experience of my life. It was like the spark of the healing that started."

The group persevered, and went on to have a hit with "Boondocks." In 2012 Little Big Town had its first #1 country hit with "Pontoon."

Now, "Girl Crush," a tale about a woman yearning to be the woman with whom her man is cheating, is the band's first crossover hit.

Part of their success, says Schlapman, is they've supported each other through highs and lows, and having been through those times influences their songs. "And that bonds you in a way that just permeates the music," Schlapman says. "It's like all this life we didn't know how to sing some of those lyrics. And now we do, you know? We are a walking, breathing, living country song."

The Emmy Award-winning "Sunday Morning," hosted by Charles Osgood, is broadcast Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.

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