Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Sugarland's Kristian Bush, 'Bigger'and better
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The country-music duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, known as Sugarland, have just released their sixth studio album. The group made it big back in 2004 with the hit "Baby Girl." After eventually releasing solo albums, they have now reunited to make Bigger for Big Machine Records.

Bush was born and raised in Tennessee, and attended Emory University in Atlanta. He began playing in a band there and eventually co-founded Sugarland. He has now won six BMI Awards, formed a publishing company and released his solo album Southern Gravity in 2015.

Windy City Times: Hi, Kristian. I'm from Tennessee just like you and I heard you opened for Dolly Parton years ago.

Kristian Bush: I am from Sevierville. I grew up way out. My grandparents owned a cannery in a tiny little town. They would do a concert there every year to celebrate all the hard work of the people there. It was pretty much everyone that lived in the town and worked at the factory.

I was the oldest kid and they had taught me a weird Japanese way of learning music. I was a party trick. As a young kid they would put me up in front of everybody to play.

Dolly Parton was the most memorable of those. I always giggle because I was just tall enough to be hugged by her and make me think the music business was awesome!

WCT: I once asked Dolly what was the craziest thing a fan brought her. Do you have a story about a fan moment?

KB: There are some awkward moments. I learned to not eat the home baked goods they bring you. Country music is a lot like Nascar. It is a full contact sport. You are able to touch the people you are a fan of. Part of being a country artist is being available to that.

They will ask me to sign their baby. I will sign a T-shirt, but not a baby!

WCT: Can you talk about your cover of Patty Griffin's "Tony?" The lyrics describe the struggles of the LGBT community and you seemed very emotional in the video.

KB: Well, part of that is because we are educating audiences. It's a beautiful and confronting song. It gets right up in front of you.

Country-music people say that it's their favorite song, but rarely do they say it's there favorite singer. The songs are the things that connect you. The song is what you sing along to on the radio and becomes a part of your life.

Sugarland came out of the Atlanta music scene, so we are the gay friendliest country act you are going to get. We get name checked on Indigo Girls songs. It's fun!

I know people are looking at the screen behind us and seeing the statistics. They are listening to a song that they may know nothing about. If our demeanor is super cheerful then something would be off. Jennifer and I don't get serious that often. We try to bring a little levity to the world around us. The times we do get serious matters. It means a lot to me and Jennifer. Don't mess with kids. Stop it!

WCT: You must have thought about your 13-year-old daughter?

KB: Yes and I have a 16-year-old son. My kids don't know any different. My son's middle school headmaster was married to a third grade teacher that's a man.

It is our job as parents to do what we can do. I am excited that we put this online and people that weren't at the show can still witness it. We hoped the message would go further. Don't be scared, people, let's celebrate Pride!

WCT: How was working with Taylor Swift on the song "Babe?"

KB: We hadn't really done this before so it was anxiety ridden. Once we put it all together and sent it to her, we asked her what she thought. If she didn't like it then we weren't going to do it. We had never had a conversation with another human being about this before, much less Taylor or a peer. She was a big fan so I didn't want to let her down either.

She loved it and wanted to be a part of it. Managing both voices was tricky with Jennifer having a big voice and Taylor having such a recognizable, expressive voice. She can push back at you in a recording like you wouldn't believe. Jennifer has a cannon of a voice. You have to place them at all the right places.

One of the things I do in the band is produce the records. I wanted a person to listen and not know what it was. To think, "Is that Taylor Swift?" I wanted the reveal to happen another 40 seconds later.

Music is the most exciting when you discover it. When you do it sticks with you for the rest of your life. It is like finding a penny on the ground or a sand dollar on the beach.

WCT: Why did you call the album Bigger?

KB: That's the title track. What we found out as we got into writing it that some of these topics remind us that not only is the band bigger than the some of its parts, now that you have witnessed our solo life and life together, but the message is bigger than us. It is not about us. We have never put our faces on the covers of albums and there's a reason.

Sugarland was never supposed to be about us. It is about a place we made that is better than where we were.

WCT: What is something about Jennifer Nettles that would surprise people?

KB: Just about everything. She is pretty surprising. I don't people think grasp how deep her accent will get when she is talking to her momma or when she has had a little to drink. She will flip into a South Georgia accent in such a way that you won't be able to dig yourself out of that swamp!

WCT: It's like another language?

KB: Well, when she graduated college it was with a degree in linguistics for Spanish. When she whips out the other side of it your brain just goes sideways. She is not just fluent but innovative. It is a beautiful thing to watch.

WCT: How many hats do you own?

KB: If I was in the closet right now, about 200!

See Sugarland at Ravinia in Highland Park on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. with tickets at and .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

MUSIC Donyae Asante talks career choices, sex positivity 2019-07-24 - A few years back, a high school kid named Donyae Lewis portrayed Sonny in a production of In the Heights, at Governors State ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Indya Moore, Janet Jackson, Cazwell & Miss Peppermint, Andy Cohen 2019-07-24 - CAA has signed actor, model, writer and social activist Indya Moore, Deadline reported. The transgender, non-binary, Haitian-Dominician actor is part of the FX ...

Gay News

CONCERTS Daya; Brandi Carlile; Taste of Chicago 2019-07-23 - If the Chicago area celebrations for the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots toward the end of June seemed to be epic and ...

Gay News

MUSIC Queer musician Bitch on Pride, politics and musical hiatus 2019-07-23 - L.A.-based queer musician Bitch is no stranger to thinking outside of the box. After years on hiatus, she came back with a political ...

Gay News

Birds, letters lead to Mamby on the Beach being canceled 2019-07-21 - The musical event Mamby on the Beach—slated to take place Aug. 23-24 on Chicago's Montrose Beach—has been canceled after the arrival of federally ...

Gay News

THEATER The Music Man 2019-07-20 - Author: Meredith Wilson ( book, music & lyrics ) At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: 312-443-3800;; $25-$142. Runs through: Aug. 18 ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jennifer Lopez, 'Toy Story 4,' Rosie, Darren Criss, John Waters 2019-07-16 - Jennifer Lopez had a surprise for a gay teen who was barred from giving the valedictorian speech, PinkNews noted. The superstar surprised Nat ...

Gay News

Streisand at United Center on Aug. 6 2019-07-14 - Barbra Streisand will bring her live performance back to Chicago's United Center on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Streisand is an actress, singer, director, composer, ...

Gay News

'Hedwig' remaster at Music Box starting July 19 2019-07-13 - Director/co-writer/star John Cameron Mitchell's 2001 musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch will open in a new 4K DCP remaster at the Music Box ...

Gay News

'Paris Is Burning' at Music Box in July 2019-07-10 - A new 2K restoration of the 1990 landmark documentary Paris Is Burning will run July 12-18 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.