Sugarland’s Nettles and Bush Sued by Former Bandmate

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are being sued by former bandmate Kristen Hall for more than $1.5 million, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Filed July 29 in federal court in Atlanta, the suit contends that Hall created the band’s name and that she, Nettles and Bush entered into an agreement to equally share profits and losses. After leaving the band in 2005 to pursue a solo career as a singer-songwriter, Hall claims she was excluded from the profits. Noting that the three original members worked together to build Sugarland’s success from mid-2002 until Dec. 20, 2005, the lawsuit states, “Hall contributed significant time, effort, energy and passion toward the creative and commercial success of Sugarland.” Hall was involved in writing all of the songs on the band’s debut album, Twice the Speed of Life, which has sold more than 2 million copies. After Hall’s departure, Sugarland’s second album, Enjoy the Ride, also sold more than 2 million copies and remains at No. 5 on Billboard’s country chart. The duo’s new album, Love on the Inside, has already sold almost 500,000 since its release two weeks ago and is at No. 1 this week on Billboard’s pop and country albums chart. Hall is seeking profits from the partnership, interest, attorney fees and an accounting of the partnership. In an interview with the Fulton County Daily Report, a newspaper catering to the legal profession, Hall’s attorney, Barry A. O’Neil, said the trio had attempted for several years to negotiate a resolution. Although he acknowledged that no written contract exists, he noted, “Partnerships are formed all the time without written agreement. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a partnership.” A spokesman for Mercury Records said the label and the group have no immediate plans to comment on the lawsuit.