The Grammy Award-winning duo are touring arenas again after a five-year hiatus. They appear at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. Here’s some fun facts about them to help you get familiar.
The country music duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush was founded by Kristen Hall and Bush in 2002; Nettles was hired to make the group a trio before Hall left acrimoniously in 2005. Sugarland has released six albums in total, the latest 2018’s Bigger, after Bush and Nettles reunited after a five-year hiatus between 2012 and 2017.
One of the sidegigs Bush took up during Sugarland’s hiatus was producing. He produced local country music singer Lindsay Ell’s last two studio albums, The Project and The Continuum Project, a track-by-track cover of John Mayer’s Continuum.
The duo was scheduled to perform at the Indiana State Fair in 2011 when the outdoor stage collapsed due to a wind gust, killing seven people and injuring 58. The two are still affected by the event. “You have to understand, this was something that we all experienced together. We had crew who were injured,” Nettles told ABC News last year. “The whole thing was quite traumatic, and even recently on this tour, we did an outside gig. And it was very rainy, and it was very, very windy. And I had basically a PTSD moment where I just like … I grabbed [Bush’s] hand and just drew him over to the side and said, ‘I am like, freaking out right now, so I have to get this together.’ ”
When Taylor Swift heard Sugarland was getting back together, she approached them with a song. Swift is a big fan who still owns a copy of the band’s rare first EP Premium Quality Tunes. She gave them a song she wrote, Babe, Sugarland’s second single off of 2018’s Bigger, and appeared on the song.
Thinking and dancing
Bush told Billboard that the theme of some of Bigger’s songs are “What do you tell your kids today?”
“It’s less about specific politics but more about how do these issues affect children,” he tells Billboard. “We talk about guns, but we don’t talk about the politics of guns. That’s not very interesting to me. But what’s interesting to me is, ‘What do I tell my kids about it?’ So we touch on those things — and we touch on, ‘How many ways can Kristian try to get you to dance?’ That’s always a fun game to play.”