Sugarland to Face Former Member in Court
Band reunions are usually a cause for celebration, but unfortunately not for Sugarland. Current members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will reunite with former member Kristen Hall in a federal courtroom this fall, to settle a bitter lawsuit filed by Kristen more than two years ago.
Kristen, who chose to exit the band after their multi-platinum debut album was released to focus on her songwriting, claims she has not been properly compensated for her early contributions to Sugarland. The lawsuit, which seeks more than $1.5 million, alleges that she is owed for her writing credit on their first single, 'Baby Girl,' as well as for the time and energy she invested in the band from its inception in 2002.
Kristen's attorney insists her crusade is justified. "They know this was a partnership," lawyer Barry O'Neil tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "This just comes down to fairness -- whether Ms. Hall will be fairly compensated for all the work she did on behalf of getting Sugarland off the ground."
Sugarland's lawyer refused to comment on the case, but according to court documents, Jennifer and Kristian say the lawsuit is "nothing more than quitter's remorse." In addition, Jennifer stated during the pre-trial deposition that Kristen was "a decent songwriter" who added that the former band member's wisest move was that "she had the wherewithal and smarts to call me."
The trial is slated to begin on November 15 in their hometown of Atlanta, Ga. Meanwhile, Jennifer and Kristian have other things on their mind besides legal woes -- mainly their 'Incredible Machine' tour that will wrap up right before their long-awaited album of the same name is released. Check out their tour dates here.
Watch Sugarland below in a live performance taped in our studio back in 2004, when they were a trio.