Tag Archives: Sugarland

NECM’s WCW: Jennifer Nettles

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.

You can stay connected with Jennifer Nettles by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, October 23rd.

Single Review: Sugarland ft. Taylor Swift ‘Babe’

As a self-proclaimed ‘Swiftie’ I was pumped when I heard the news that the upcoming Sugarland album, titled ‘Bigger,’ would feature a song written by Taylor, titled, ‘Babe.’ She’s gotten a lot of flak since her departure from country, but last year’s award-winning ‘Better Man’ proved that she still has a place in the genre. Like many good songwriters, Swift has a way of stringing together lyrics to convey a message or feeling that resonates universally. Even throughout her pop work, there’s no denying that Swift is a storyteller at heart – which is, of course, the backbone of country music.

What’s different about ‘Babe’ is that unlike ‘Better Man,’ this wasn’t written recently – it’s been hanging out in Swift’s back catalog for over five years. Taylor wrote the single with Train’s Pat Monahan during the ‘Red era,’ (while Taylor was still technically country) but the song never made the album. When she heard that Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush were getting Sugarland back together, the superstar approached them with the song. Jennifer Nettles told reporters at the ACM awards how the song came about, “She was excited we were getting back together and reached out and said, ‘Hey, I have a song.’ That is a short list, ladies and gentlemen, of people to whom she has said, ‘Hey I have a song, want to sing it?’ So we said yes.” The single is the only song on Sugarland’s upcoming album that the duo didn’t write themselves.

In December 2017, Sugarland released their first single in five years, ‘Still the Same,’ but it didn’t make a huge splash. ‘Babe,’ on the other hand, was generating buzz as soon as Sugarland announced the forthcoming album. Maybe because Taylor Swift always seems to make headlines, but regardless, ‘Babe’ is still a great song on its own. The charts prove it as it’s Sugarland’s 12th and Swift’s 20th Top 10 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart (dated May 5). ‘Babe’ also soared to the No.1 spot on the Country Digital Song Sales chart, and No. 2 on the all-genre.

There are so many reasons to love this song, for starters, Jennifer Nettles has a voice like no other. She pulls you in from the very first lines and by the time you reach the incredibly catchy chorus, you’re hooked. The lyrics are so unmistakably, classic Swift, and yes, the subject is a cheating ex-love, but don’t roll your eyes before you give it a listen. The moment of giving up and walking away, Swift expertly conveys in a number of songs, but does so with such simplicity here, it’s heartbreaking. “We said no one else, how could you do this, babe?” and “We ain’t getting through this one, babe.”

Not only did Swift lend a pen to the tune, she also lends her voice, which echoes in background and will surely echo in your head for the rest of the day. With just the right combination of drum beats and guitar riffs, it’s toe-tapping perfection. And although, like much of the ‘Red’ album, ‘Babe’ sounds pop-influenced, Nettles’ voice is so undeniably, country its ideal for radio. This song is the perfect reminder of the sweetness that is Sugarland, and Taylor Swift is just the cherry on top.

We can’t wait for Sugarland to make their big comeback with ‘Bigger,’ the duo’s first album in almost eight years, set to be released on June 8th.

You can purchase ‘Babe’ from iTunes, Google Play, or stream it on Spotify.

Favorite Lyrics: Your secret has its consequence and that’s on you, babe…