We, at New England Country Music, are continuing our series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for ‘Women Crush Wednesday,’ is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing the country music scene.
This week, we are featuring singer, songwriter, and record producer Jennifer Nettles. Nettles is forty-five years old and from Douglass, Georgia. The Southern Baptist church that her family regularly attended was a very important part of her small-town upbringing. At a young age, Nettles began performing at her church, school, and community theater. During her teenage years, she joined a 4-H performing arts group. She studied Sociology and Anthropology at Agnes Scott College.
It was in college that Nettles met Cory Jones and formed Soul Miner’s Daughter. They released two albums: The Sacred and Profane dropped in 1996 and Hallelujah dropped in 1998. Nettles went on to form the Jennifer Nettles Band in 1999. They released three albums, Story of Your Bones, Gravity: Drag Me Down, and Rewind. In 2003, Jennifer Nettles joined Sugarland, who most of us are familiar with. For the first few years, Sugarland was a trio comprised of Nettles, Kristen Hall and Kristian Bush. In 2006, Hall left the group so Nettles and Bush continued on as a duo. Over the years, Sugarland has released six albums: Twice the Speed of Life, Enjoy the Ride, Love on the Inside, Gold and Green, The Incredible Machine, and Bigger. While Nettles was on maternity leave, the duo went on a five-year hiatus, between 2012 and 2017. It was during this “time off” that Jennifer Nettles dropped her debut solo album, That Girl. Sugarland has since reunited. In addition to her success with Sugarland, Nettles also sang a duet with Bon Jovi. Their hit ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ was featured on Bon Jovi’s ninth studio album: Have A Nice Day. And just this past June, she dropped her six-track EP, I Can Do Hard Things.
Between Sugarland and her collaboration with Bon Jovi, Nettles has taken home her fair share of awards. Sugarland won their first American Music Award in 2005 for Favorite Breakthrough Artist. In 2006, Bon Jovi and Nettles won the CMT Collaborative Video of the Year for ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home.’ In 2007, the duo grabbed a GRAMMY Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home.’ Sugarland won the CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year in both 2007 and 2008. Also, in 2008, they snatched up an ACM Award Song of the Year and a CMA Award Song of the Year for ‘Stay.’ 2009 was a huge year for Sugarland. They won two GRAMMY Awards, a CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year, and an ACM Award Milestone Award Vocal Duo of the Year. Their winning streak continued with the CMA Award Vocal Duo of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and ACM Award Vocal Duo of the Year in 2011.
We can’t wait to see Jennifer Nettles continue down the path of stardom.
Hopefully you were able to see Jennifer Nettles with Sugarland during the summer of 2018.
Be sure to download her latest EP, I Can Do Hard Things, on Apple Music here.
Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, October 23rd.