ATLANTA (CN) – The founder of the country duo Sugarland has sued band members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush in Federal Court, claiming they blocked her from getting her cut of the profits from their albums and excluded her from managing their affairs.
Kristen Hall claims she created the name Sugarland for a prospective musical act in January 2002. After auditioning potential band members, she allegedly hired Nettles and Bush for the group. Hall says she wrote songs for the group and agreed to contribute the trade name, trademark and service mark, Sugarland, to the partnership.
Hall claims she wrote or co-wrote every song on the group’s first album, “Twice the Speed of Life,” released in 2004. The album has since been certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and rose to number 16 on the Billboard 200 Chart in 2005. Also in 2005, Sugarland was awarded Breakthrough Favorite New Artist at the American Music Awards.
But Hall claims that after Dec. 20, 2005, Nettles and Bush have excluded her input from the group. Hall reportedly left the group in January 2006 to focus on her songwriting career, according to the Country Music Television Web site.
Hall says the singers owe her $1.5 million in damages.
She is represented by Barry O’Neil of Lommen, Abdo, Cole, King & Stageberg P.A. in Minnesota and Scott Sanders in Atlanta.