Sugarland Signs New Deal with Big Machine Label

The country duo Sugarland has signed a new contract with Big Machine Records, marking the first time the act has been signed exclusively to the label.

In 2018, after years spent apart on solo projects, the reunited twosome released a comeback album, “Bigger,” in a joint venture between Big Machine and Sugarland’s previous label, Universal Music Nashville. The new inking makes the transition between labels complete.

In a statement about the new deal, singer Jennifer Nettles made reference to how Scott Borchetta was part of the team that broke Sugarland wide in the country market in 2004-05, when he was still at Universal, shortly before he founded the Big Machine label.

“Scott has been there for Sugarland since our very first release, ‘Baby Girl,’ and continues to be our biggest champion when it comes to our records,” said Nettles, who partners with Kristian Bush in the duo. “Baby Girl” was the first of three straight top 10 country hits off their triple-platinum debut album, “Twice the Speed of Life.”

Said Borchetta, “The music that Jennifer and Kristian make and perform together is nothing short of magical and I’m honored that they now call Big Machine Records their exclusive home.”

Sugarland went eight years between albums as both members pursued solo careers. Their 2018 resumption, “Bigger,” debuted at No. 2 on the country albums chart. Although the first single from the album didn’t catch fire at country radio, a second pick, the Taylor Swift-and Patrick Monahan-penned “Babe” (on which Swift also made a guest appearance), went top 10 and was nominated for CMA, ACM and CMT awards.

In March of this year, Nettles released a feminist-themed solo single, “I Can Do Hard Things,” and in November, another Bush side project, the Grateful Dead-influenced band Dark Water, put out a debut album.

Nettles has also found an additional career as an actor since first appearing on screen in the NBC movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” four years ago. In the past year she was featured on HBO’s “The Righteous Gemstones” and in the abolition-themed film “Harriet.”

She raised eyebrows and got accolades for showing up at the CMA Awards in November in an outfit with a jacket and train that opened up to reveal a message to country radio on behalf of women: “Play Our F—in’ Records — Please & Thank You.” “Equal play” was also emblazoned on the suit.

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