Behind the “Sweet” History of the Band Name: Sugarland

Formed in 2002, the country group Sugarland has enjoyed great success. Included in that success is the band’s 2010 song “Stuck Like Glue,” which is one of the most downloaded country songs of all time.

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While the band enjoyed a 10-year run from 2002 to 2012, they subsequently split up, only to get back together in 2017 and continue to make music to this day.

Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, Sugarland is comprised of Jennifer Nettles (the group’s lead singer) and Kristian Bush (a multi-instrumentalist and backup singer). The group began as a trio with member Kristen Hall, a singer and guitar player, as part of the lineup.

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Early Days

When the band’s original trio got together, Nettles had experience in bands with outfits like Soul Miner’s Daughter and the Jennifer Nettles Band. Bush was part of the duo Billy Pilgrim. And Hall was a solo artist. Hall left the band in 2006 and Nettles and Bush went on as a duo.

The band signed with Mercury Nashville Records in 2004, two years after officially forming. For the label, the group recorded four studio LPs and one Christmas album. They also released a live record. Their debut LP, Twice the Speed of Life, dropped in 2004. In addition, they released several No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including “Want To” and “It Happens.”

In 2005, the group toured with Brad Paisley and in 2006-2007 they toured with Kenny Chesney. After the band went on hiatus in 2012, Nettles and Bush recorded solo albums before getting back together in 2017 for their Sugarland LP, Bigger.

Sugar Land, Texas

Before we talk about the band’s name, let’s dive into the town of Sugar Land, Texas.

The area is the largest city in Fort Bend County, Texas. It’s located less than 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston. It’s home to a large sugar plantation near the Brazos River. Hence the name, of course.

The locale is now one of the most affluent, modern, and fastest-growing cities in the state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 78.817. And as of 2019, it was 118,488. Today, it’s home to Imperial Sugar.

The Band Name

While the city is not the original home to any of the band members in Sugarland, original band member Kristen Hall, who left the group in 2006, got the three members together and also brought the saccharine name to the group. Such a sweet-sounding band should have a sweet-sounding name. And, after Hall’s suggestion, the moniker, well, stuck.

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The band even included a song titled “Sugarland” on their album Enjoy the Ride. You can check that song out below. Let’s hope the group never burns out and has to rename themselves Caramelized.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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