Stay (Sugarland song)


Sugarland is an American country music duo composed of singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles (lead vocals) and Kristian Bush (background vocals, mandolin, acoustic guitar). The duo was founded in 2003 by Bush and Kristen Hall (acoustic guitar, background vocals), and became a trio when Jennifer Nettles was brought in as lead singer. Prior to Sugarland Nettles fronted the Jennifer Nettles Band, while Hall had achieved success as a solo artist and songwriter. Bush's earlier musical career included being half of the duo Billy Pilgrim, (along with Andrew Hyra), recording for Atlantic Records in the 1990s.

Signed to Mercury Nashville Records in 2004, Sugarland broke through that year with the release of their debut single "Baby Girl", the first single from their multi-platinum debut album Twice the Speed of Life. This album produced three more chart singles "Something More", "Just Might (Make Me Believe)", and "Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)".

Reduced to a duo, Sugarland recorded its second album (2006's Enjoy the Ride), which was certified Multi-Platinum like its predecessor. This album also produced Sugarland's first two Number One hits with "Want To" and "Settlin'", as well as additional Top Ten hits with "Everyday America" and "Stay." Nettles also served as a duet partner in 2006 on Bon Jovi's first country single "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (also a Number One on the country charts), and in 2007 Sugarland received the Country Music Association's Duo of the Year award. "All I Want to Do" was issued in June 2008 as the lead-off to their third studio album, Love on the Inside, and in August 2008 it became their third Billboard Number One. "Already Gone" followed in September of the same year.


Jennifer Nettles grew up in the small town of Douglas, Georgia. Nettles, Bush, and Hall were regulars in Atlanta's folk-rock scene in the 1990s and early 2000s prior to Sugarland's formation, playing frequently at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, Georgia, which Nettles' ex-husband owned for a time. Nettles had played in a band called Soul Miner's Daughter, later forming her own Jennifer Nettles Band. Bush was half of the folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim, and Hall had a solo career that often crossed paths with the Indigo Girls.

Music career

2004-2006: Early career

Sugarland's debut album, Twice the Speed of Life, was released Oct. 26, 2004. Serving as its lead-off single was the song "Baby Girl", which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and set a record for the longest chart run since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1990; it was also the highest-peaking debut single for a group in 13 years. The album received Multi-Platinum certification for sales of two million copies. In late 2005, the duo performed with Bon Jovi on Country Music Television's musical fusion show, Crossroads. Nettles sang with Bon Jovi on their single "Who Says You Can't Go Home". The song later went on to become a #1 hit on the country charts. They toured the U.S. and Canada performing with Brad Paisley in 2005 and in 2006-2007 with Kenny Chesney on his "Flip Flop Summer Tour.

2006: Trio becomes duo

Kristen Hall left the group in 2006. According to a statment released on January 17, 2006 by Nettles and Bush, Hall left the group to "stay home and write songs.

Sugarland was nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy and performed the song "Something More" at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2006. They also performed at the 2006 CMT Music Awards, where they received multiple nominations including Group/Duo Video of the Year for Just Might (Make Me Believe), Breakthrough Video of the Year for Something More, and Collaborative Video of the Year for Who Says You Can't Go Home. On November 7, 2006, the duo released their second album Enjoy the Ride. It sold 211,000 during its first week and opened at #4 on the US Top 200 and at #2 on the Top Country Albums charts. The first two singles from this album — "Want To" and "Settlin'" — both reached Number One on the country music charts, while "Everyday America" and "Stay" were both Top Ten hits. A limited edition of the CD, sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, was released in late 2007 and included a 5-song Christmas EP. The EP contained one original song - "Little Wood Guitar" - written by Bush and Ellis Paul. USA Today included the song in a list of new Christmas songs released in 2007 "that might have some staying power.

2007-Present: Growth

In 2007, Sugarland performed at multiple award ceremonies, including the 2007 CMT Awards and the 2007 ACM awards. They performed a cover of Beyoncé Knowles' "Irreplaceable" at the American Music Awards. Knowles joined Sugarland on stage starting with the second verse. The performance drew some poor reviews with the Village Voice calling it "a well-intentioned mess, although other critics also noted that the crowd enjoyed the performance.

They also appeared on the The Tonight Show, and in the fall they headlined their first concert tour: the Change for Change Tour along with opening acts Little Big Town and Jake Owen. At the 41st CMA Awards, the group won the award for Vocal Duo of the Year.

In February 2008 Nettles and Bush began recording Love on the Inside as a follow up to their Enjoy the Ride album. To follow up the emotional hit "Stay", the duo decided to springboard the new CD with a flirty, summery song, "All I Want to Do". Released on May 19, the song debuted at #27 on the country charts, the highest debut for the duo since 2006. It became their third Number One single in August 2008. The "Deluxe Fan Edition" of Love on the Inside was released on July 22, 2008, with the regular edition released one week later. The fan edition includes the duo's collaboration with Little Big Town and Jake Owen, "Life in a Northern Town." It also introduces four other bonus tracks, including "Fall Into Me," "Operation: Working Vacation," "Wishing," and "Come On Get Higher.

The duo is starting the Love on the Inside Tour on September 13 in Asheville, North Carolina and it will conclude after 25 performances on November 16 in Bossier City, Louisiana. They will be joined by special guests Ashton Shepherd and Kellie Pickler. It will be their second headlining tour.


In August 2008, former member Kristen Hall sued the duo for $1.5 million. She had formed an agreement with Bush and Nettles to "share profits and losses," and felt that she had been excluded from her share since leaving the group.


As a trio, Sugarland self-released three albums that were only available at concerts. By 2004, they had been signed to Mercury Nashville Records, releasing their debut single "Baby Girl" in July. This song, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, was the highest-charting debut single for a country group in thirteen years, and it set a record for the longest country chart run since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan. It was the first of four singles from their major-label debut Twice the Speed of Life, which was certified 2× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. This album also produced the singles "Something More", "Just Might (Make Me Believe)", and "Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)". Hall departed shortly after the third single, reducing Sugarland to a duo.

A second album, Enjoy the Ride, followed in 2006. This album produced Sugarland's first two US Country Number One hits in "Want To" and "Settlin'", as well as the Top Ten hits "Everyday America" and "Stay". Like its predecessor, Enjoy the Ride earned 2× Multi-Platinum RIAA certification. Love on the Inside followed in 2008, producing the Number One hit "All I Want to Do". This was also Sugarland's first Number One album, reaching that position on both Top Country Albums and Billboard 200. Also in mid-2008, Sugarland charted along with Jake Owen and Little Big Town on a live rendition of The Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town", which was recorded at a late 2007 concert. This cover charted in the Top 30 based on unsolicited airplay.


Year Award Category
2005 American Music Awards Breakthrough Favorite New Artist
2006 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Vocal Duet/Group
2007 CMT Music Awards Duo Video of the Year – "Want To"
2007 Country Music Association Awards Vocal Duo of the Year
2008 CMT Music Awards Duo Video of the Year – "Stay"
2008 Academy of Country Music Awards Single of the Year – "Stay"
2008 Academy of Country Music Awards Song of the Year – "Stay"


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