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Published: Thursday, 3/29/2012

Sugarland to get fans involved with its tour

BLADE STAFF
Jennifer Nettles, right, and Kristian Bush of the band "Sugarland" perform at the 2009 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Jennifer Nettles, right, and Kristian Bush of the band "Sugarland" perform at the 2009 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn.
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Sugarland always has had a buzz about it, going back to its days of playing in Atlanta-area clubs.

The buzz translated into immediate success when the band landed in Nashville and released its debut album, "Twice the Speed of Life," in 2004. That album produced the hit singles "Baby Girl," "Something More," "Just Might (Make Me Believe)," and "Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)."

After selling millions of albums, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are still going strong, albeit without the third original member of the group, Kristen Hall, who left before the release of Sugarland's second album. The group is the reigning Country Music Association's vocal duo of the year, and they will be defending their vocal crown from the Academy of Country Music on Sunday night, when the annual show is aired live from Las Vegas on CBS.

Never afraid to take chances, Sugarland is trying something completely different with this year's headlining tour, "In the Hands of the Fans," which opens April 5 at Huntington Center.

In a statement announcing the tour, Nettles explained the concept.

"This year's tour is based around the concept of putting the show into the hands of the fans," she said. "They will make the requests that will help form the set list and guide the show. Through texts, handwritten signs, the Internet [Twitter, Facebook, and other social media], phone calls made during the show, and selections directly from the stage, the fans will become the conductors as well as the audience. If it's on one of our records or if we've played it on a stage, it is fair game."

Additional information will be posted in the days ahead on the group's Web site, sugarlandmusic.com.

Sugarland, along with special guests Canaan Smith and Lauren Alaina, will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 5 at Huntington Center. The show is sold out.



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