SugarlandLast week, Sugarland earned the CMA's Vocal Duo of the Year award for the third consecutive year. But it was much slower going for the multi-platinum duo at the beginning of the year, due to Jennifer Nettles' nagging health issues, which forced them cancel several tour dates.

"This year I started out on a limp leg, because I was randomly sick several times before we went on the road. That started me out, when we were on the road, still dealing with that," Jennifer told reporters backstage at the CMA Awards press conference.

And it wasn't just a simple matter of feeling better, Jennifer soon came to learn. It was a matter of building her stamina back up again, by learning how to listen to her body.

"I was behind when we started, and the year doesn't get any easier. It only gets harder," she notes. "You become more cumulatively tired. Consequently, I learned about limits. I learned about my own healthy boundaries -- yes, my therapist is proud! And how to say no -- and that's just as important as being able to say yes. Until you can say a clear and easy 'no', 'yes' doesn't mean as much. You have to learn how to pace yourself in order to make it for the long run."

Jennifer and partner Kristian Bush have said yes to the CBS special, 'Grammy Nominations Concert -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night.' Airing Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 9:00 PM ET, and hosted by rapper /actor LL Cool J, the show features the announcement of Grammy nominations in several categories, along with performances by past Grammy winners and nominees.

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 on CBS.