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Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles Solves Fan-Fueled Mysteries

Jennifer NettlesWhen Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles spoke with the Colorado Springs Gazette earlier this month, she cleared up three questions that fans have had for some time now: 1 – What’s the story behind her tattoos? 2 – Did that spark of electricity she shares with Jon Bon Jovi on the duet, ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home?,’ perhaps mean there was a little something going on between them? And 3 – why does she cry every time she sings ‘Stay’?

The tattooed singer, who sports ‘Believe’ on her wrist, a heart with wings on the inside of her upper right arm and a flower on her hip, which was inked when she was 18, says, “People tattoo for different reasons. I use a tattoo as a marker of time, to be reminded of a time in my life. It is something special and personal. There’s a lyric in my song, ‘Take Me as I Am’: ‘We all live with the scars we choose.’ Some scars are given to us and some we choose.”

While the 2006 Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora-penned, ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home?’ was originally intended to be a Jon Bon Jovi/Keith Urban duet for Bon Jovi‘s ‘Have a Nice Day’ album, it was thought that Keith and Jon sounded too much alike, so it was decided to replace Keith with a female singer — enter Jennifer Nettles. Ironically, Jennifer was gripped with anxiety at the mere thought of singing with the rocker.

“I had his ‘New Jersey’ posters on my door when I was in the seventh or eighth grade — it made me nervous, because the last thing I would want is to ruin a Bon Jovi song!” she laughs. The song ended up winning a Grammy and the sparks between the two of them each time they performed the tune sent speculation crackling across the Internet … were they lovers? Did she write ‘Stay’ for him?

“None of those are true,” Jennifer says with a laugh. “I don’t know if it’s fortunately or unfortunately!”

And none of the rumors that have been swirling around her emotion-packed smash, ‘Stay’ are true either — that Jennifer is that ‘other woman’ begging her man to stay. But because she tears up each time she sings it, her audience tends to tear up right along with her.

“As a storyteller, I take that as a compliment,” says Jennifer.”Fortunately, it is not my own story … but as a songwriter, I enjoy writing as a storyteller, exploring characters and telling other people’s stories. I love to sing ‘Stay’ every night … because people sing along. And they do sing along — loudly! I can stop and the audience will take it from there.”

With their new album due out in the fall, Jennifer says she was constantly sending snippets of song ideas on her Blackberry to partner, Kristian Bush, back when they were writing for the project.

“Kristian and I wrote all the material and it’s an evolution; it’s growth, artistically,” she reflects. “Our fans want this. I have musical ADD or something, and I get bored doing the same thing over and over. I love different sounds, different influences. We are speaking to the human condition and I think music is leaning that way. Music is so much more than what you wear and your hair.”

Sugarland are currently in the midst of their first headlining trek, the Incredible Machine tour.

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