Alumni Spotlight Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

The Artists

Megan Moroney BBA ’20
Rising country star got her big break singing about … the Vols?

On Nov. 5, 2022, the world was introduced to Douglasville native Megan Moroney. ESPN’s CollegeGameday was in Athens for the UGA-UT game. The Bulldogs were the undefeated, defending national champions. Tennessee was … themselves … but they were also undefeated and ranked No. 1.

Excitement was high. And then Moroney somehow transcended it. Clad in red and black, she performed her hit song Tennessee Orange, a tune she co-wrote that tells the story of a Georgia Bulldogs fan who falls in love with a Vols fan.

“There was a day that I found myself wearing a Tennessee shirt,” she recalls. “So I jokingly had the shirt on, and I thought of the hook, ‘In Georgia, they call it a sin. I’m wearing Tennessee Orange for him.’ And I knew I could write a song about it. I thought it was a clever take on being from the South and the SEC rivalry.”

That song would eventually hit the country top 10 and sell one million copies. Moroney’s debut album followed in May, and since then, her profile has only risen. She is a singer-songwriter with unlimited potential and perhaps the only one who got her break singing about a team that lost.

Charles Kelley BBA’ 04 and Dave Haywood BBA ’04
Grammy-Award winning co-founders of Lady A

The University of Georgia prepared me to work my butt off,” Charles Kelley told one of the most expansive gatherings he’d ever addressed—the Class of 2018 and their friends and family packing Sanford Stadium.

Kelley and fellow Terry grad Dave Haywood are country music superstars. They make up two-thirds of the chart-topping trio Lady A (the third member, Hillary Scott, attended Middle Tennessee State). They are no strangers to massive crowds, but the night of May 4, 2018, Haywood and Kelley got to play new roles as they delivered the annual spring Commencement address.

Lady A has won five Grammys and charted 11 No. 1 country songs.

“Be open to things you haven’t even dreamed of yet,” Haywood said. “For Charles and I, we didn’t graduate from Georgia and say, ‘We’re going to Nashville. We want to be country singers.’ We got out there and worked hard in the real world and kept our minds open and followed our passion and ended up landing in Nashville in a country band.”

Because Kelley and Haywood followed that passion, music fans of all stripes have benefited. Since their 2007 debut, Lady A has won five Grammys, charted 11 No. 1 country songs, performed before millions of fans, and sold tens of millions of records. And they show no sign of slowing down.

Lady A’s most recent album, What a Song Can Do, came out in 2021. They released the single Love You Back over the summer and spent October touring the Eastern U.S.