A Country Music
group founded in 2002 by Kristian Bush, Kristen Hall and Jennifer Nettles. All three members had plenty experience: Kristian was formerly one-half of the pop duo Billy Pilgrim, Jennifer fronted an Atlanta-based band called Soul Miners' Daughter, and Hall had two solo albums. Mercury Records signed the group in 2004. Their debut album Twice the Speed of Life
sold triple-platinum and produced four hit singles.
After Kristen Hall left in 2006, Sugarland continued as a duo. It was then that the duo's career kicked into high gear. Enjoy the Ride
produced Sugarland's first Number One hits, as well as a Grammy win for "Stay". It also sold three million copies. Jennifer sang a duet vocal on Bon Jovi
's "Who Says You Can't Go Home", which made Bon Jovi the first rock band to have a #1 country hit. Love on the Inside
(2008) moved the duo to a more organic, acoustic sound which garnered critical acclaim for the most part. This album included three more #1 hits: "All I Want to Do", "Already Gone" and "It Happens". A fourth album, The Incredible Machine
, was released late in 2010.
After a stage collapse at a concert in Indiana in 2011 killed 7 fans and injured 45 more, the duo had 44 lawsuits filed against it. Since then, they have taken a hiatus from recording, but continue to tour. Jennifer released a solo single in mid-2013, although she has said that Sugarland is not breaking up.
- Auto-Tune: Used briefly in "Stuck Like Glue". Emphasis on briefly.
- Bowdlerise: A variant. Some radio stations excised the reggae-rap bridge from "Stuck Like Glue".
- Careful With That Axe: The almost pained-sounding yowl Jennifer lets out at the end of "Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)".
- Christmas Songs: Gold and Green, released in 2009. Before that, the duo released covers of "Winter Wonderland" and "Nuttin' for Christmas" as bonus tracks on Enjoy the Ride.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their debut album, the only one on which Hall was a member. It was the only one not produced by Byron Gallimore (Garth Fundis produced it instead), and it was more mainstream country with somewhat heavier lyrics. After Hall quit, Nettles and Bush shifted to a more acoustic pop sound with often lighter and more fun lyrics.
- Everyday America
- The Four Chords of Pop: "Everyday America" uses IV-V-I-vi.
- Getting Shit Past the Radar: Invoked on "It Happens", which intentionally sticks a "shh" before the title.
- Lesser Star: Kristian mostly just sings backup and plays guitar and mandolin, although he has gotten a shared lead vocal on at least two songs (though neither was a single). This also applied to Kristen during her short tenure in the group, given that her backing vocals were barely audible, although she wrote "Just Might (Make Me Believe)" herself.
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "All I wanna do-oo-oo-oo-oo-ah-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ah-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo…"
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The reggae-rap bridge in "Stuck Like Glue".
- Nice Hat: Kristian usually wears a cowboy hat or fedora.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nettles is very active and outgoing onstage, while Bush is more quiet and in the background.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: The end of "Already Gone" is done as a round, which distinctly includes two vocal lines both sung by Jennifer.
- Steampunk: The inspiration for the eponymous song from The Incredible Machine and the theme of its corresponding tour.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Kristian occasionally gets a shared lead vocal on album cuts. He also split the lead vocal when they, along with Little Big Town and Jake Owen, covered "Life in a Northern Town" while on tour in 2008.
- Teenage Death Songs: "Joey", in which the narrator laments the death of her boyfriend and asks what she could've done different.
- Title Only Chorus: "Tonight" for the most part.