Who is Jennifer Nettles?

Who is Jennifer Nettles? The entertainment and music world knows her as Jennifer Nettles. Nettles is an American country music artist. She is known primarily for her role as lead vocalist of the duo Sugarland alongside Kristian Bush. Before Sugarland's inception, she also fronted Atlanta, Georgia-based bands called Soul Miner's Daughter and Jennifer Nettles Band. She also charted as a duet partner on the country version of rock band Bon Jovi's 2006 single "Who Says You Can't Go Home", a Number One hit on the Billboard charts.

Personal life

Nettles was born September 12, 1974 in Douglas, Georgia,   and was raised in Douglas, Georgia as well.

Musical beginnings

Nettles began performing at school assemblies, her Southern Baptist church, and in community theater. She was also a member of Georgia 4-H's Clovers & Company performing arts group from 1986 to 1993.[3]
Nettles attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia where she studied Sociology and Anthropology.[4] While a student there, Nettles and Cory Jones (who at the time was studying classical guitar at the University of Georgia) formed the group Soul Miner’s Daughter. Performing as both an acoustic duo and with a band, they released two albums: The Sacred and Profane in 1996 and Hallelujah in 1998, both of which were composed of songs written collaboratively by Jones and Nettles.[5]
In 1999, she formed the Jennifer Nettles Band, with whom she released three studio albums and two live albums. The band, who in addition to Nettles included Brad Sikes (drums), Scott Nicholson (piano), Wesley Lupold (bass), and Mike Cebulski (percussion), was selected the grand prize winner from more than 2000 bands in "The Big Deal $100,000 Music Search" presented by Mars Music and was invited to perform at Lilith Fair in 1999.[6]
Friends Jay Memory and Bubba Dean, who perform as Memory Dean, invited Nettles to sing on their 1999 release Still Hungry Souls. According to Alan Back, writing for The Technique, the Georgia Institute of Technology's student newspaper, Nettles' vocals "lend a powerful gospel tone to "Fix My Heart," a standout cut on the album."[7]


Sugarland was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best New Artist category in 2006.[9] Although they did not win the award, Nettles and Bush performed for the awards show and Nettles presented both a Lifetime Achievement Award to Merle Haggard and the award for Best Country Group.[10]
A duet performance with rock band Bon Jovi, "Who Says You Can't Go Home", reached No. 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The video for the song won a CMT Music Award in 2006 for Collaborative Video Of The Year. In February 2007, Nettles and Bon Jovi won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.[11] In 2006, Kristen Hall left the group[12] and Nettles and Bush continued on as a duo releasing Enjoy the Ride in November 2006. Their third album, titled Love on the Inside, was released on July 22, 2008.
In an interview on Fox News with Martha MacCullum, Nettles expressed interest in appearing in a Broadway play, stating in particular that she would like to play the role of Elphaba in Wicked.[13]
In early December 2008, Sugarland received three Grammy Award nominations and performed on the 51st Annual Grammy Awards show on February 8, 2009. They won awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.[14]
On Sunday, January 18, 2009, Nettles performed at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, singing James Taylor's "Shower the People" with James Taylor and John Legend.[15]
On February 11, 2009, Sugarland received two nominations from the Academy of Country Music for Top Vocal Duo and Vocal Event of the Year for "Life in a Northern Town".[16] During the broadcast of the April 5, 2009 awards show, Sugarland was presented with the Vocal Duo of the Year award, ending Brooks & Dunn's nine-year run.[17] Nettles also received a Milestone award, presented to her by Reba McEntire.[18]
ABC-TV broadcast the first CMA Country Christmas, hosted by Nettles, on November 29, 2010. Nettles and Sugarland partner Kristian Bush kicked off the evening with their rendition of "Winter Wonderland," backed by the Southern harmonies of Little Big Town. The pair returned to the stage later in the program to perform the hymn "Come, O Come Emmanuel," just before the "Jingle Bell Rock" group grande finale of the 90-minute special.[19]


Nettles has lent her time and talent to support various non-profit organizations. In 2007, one dollar from every ticket sold during Sugarland's CMT Change For Change tour was donated to the Shalom Foundation.[20] More than $120,000 was raised in 2007.[21]
In 2008 she launched Common Thread, a series of musical events enabling artists to come together to share music and raise money for their favorite charities. The first three Common Thread concerts included performances by Nettles, Sugarland partner Kristian Bush, Emily Saliers, and Amos Lee and raised funds for the American Cancer Society, American Liver Foundation, Honor the Earth, and Intercultural Family Services.[22]
Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nettles and Sugarland partner Bush sang on the remake of We Are the World as part of Artists for Haiti.


Todd Van Sickle 
Clayton Mitchell. 
Nettles was married to Todd Van Sickle, before divorcing. She was dating Kenny Chesney's guitarist Clayton Mitchell.


Studio Demos

As Jennifer Nettles
Year Album
1991 For Your Love / You're The One
  • 2-song Demo Cassette on Timme Records label.

Studio Albums

As Soul Miner's Daughter
Year Album
1996 The Sacred And Profane
1998 Hallelujah
As Jennifer Nettles Band
Year Album
2000 Story Of Your Bones
2002 Gravity: Drag Me Down
2002 Rewind
As Jennifer Nettles
Year Album
2003 An Acoustic Evening with Jennifer Nettles
  • Live CD Recording
2004 An Acoustic Evening with Jennifer Nettles II
  • Live CD Recording

Guest Singles

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions[2] Album
2006 "Who Says You Can't Go Home" Bon Jovi 1 107 Have a Nice Day
2010 "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" Artists for Haiti 2 7 1 9 8 5 15 Non-album song
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music Videos

Year Title Director
2006 "Who Says You Can't Go Home" (with Bon Jovi) Anthony M. Bongiovi
2010 "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (with Artists for Haiti) Paul Haggis




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