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The very first country song I heard was by Sugarland, which turned me into the country music-crazed gal that I am today. I have since followed their music like it was the main road in my hometown, and even through each of their solo careers.
Now, if you're anything like me, you probably freaked out when Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush hinted at a future for the band, as they presented the Vocal Duo of the Year Award at the 51st Country Music Awards.
The duo won that award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, "and who knows..."
They since released a brand new single, "Still The Same," and launched their 2018 summer tour.
"Still The Same" is a hint that no matter how much time has passed since the two singers went their separate ways, they came back and truly are still the same.
Here's my top ten songs by the duo:
10. 'Stand Back Up'
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” right? This is a song where it tells listeners that, though you might be knocked off your feet a couple of times, you can always find the strength to stand back up.
9. 'Little Miss'
“Little Miss” offers a spark of hope. It explores the challenge of trying to be everything for everybody. But just because one can do everything doesn’t mean one should do everything. Remember that.
8. 'Small Town Jericho'
This song is about saying goodbye to one of the only places you’ve called home; the place you have memories saved and made friends. It might not have been a big hit, but to me, it surely is.
This was the duo’s first single to earn platinum status, and was inspired by Reba McEntire’s “Whoever’s in New England.” It is sung from the point of view of a man’s mistress, which is different for country music. In the beginning of the song, this woman begs for him to stay, until she realizes the strength she has inside, and knows what she has to do. It's filled with raw, real emotion. This song even inspired my first fiction short-story, "All She Ever Wanted."
6. 'All I Want To Do'
Need a fun and lighthearted upbeat song to put you in a better mood? This is your song. "All I Want to Do" was the band's third chart-topping single, and had been certified platinum as well. It's a very summer-like song, which is a plus.
5. 'Already Gone'
This is a beautiful song, where it tells listeners that sometimes relationships end emotionally long before they are physically terminated. According to Bush, the track was a story that has a special place for Nettles at the time it was being written.
This is one I often find myself putting on replay a lot. It’s a song about living life and looking back onto it. And of course, it also intertwines the season of Autumn into it, which is a beautiful metaphor.
3. 'Shine The Light'
This is a song that serves as encouragement to anyone going through a dark patch. Nettles shared in an interview that she was inspired to write this song after she had a heart-to-heart conversation with Bush about a tough time that he’d been going through. “There are times in our lives and places in our lives that only we can go ourselves. We have to go into these woods ourselves and hopefully when we get there, as we get closer, we’ll see all the people that we love at the edge holding a flashlight to show us the way out,” Nettled said.
2. 'Just Might (Make Me Believe)'
There is something about this song that is just so comforting. It’s a sweet melody about having a companion who can look into your eyes and tell you everything is going to be alright. Even if you’re really unsure if it will be okay, you still have a sense to believe. This is also the only song in Sugarland’s history that was written solely by ex-member Kristen Hall.
1. 'Baby Girl'
Everyone has a dream or an ambition and the desire to make the people they care about proud. This debut single helped Sugarland’s career start off with a bang, becoming the highest-peaking debut single for a country group in 14 years. It’s an autobiographical song for Nettles, who sings about having a dream, going after it, and wanting to make her parents proud. It’s somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy that many of us can relate to.