Personal lifeNettles was born September 12, 1974 in Douglas, Georgia, and was raised in Douglas, Georgia as well.
Musical beginningsNettles began performing at school assemblies, her Southern Baptist church, and in community theater. She was also a member of Georgia 4-H's Clovers & Company performing arts group from 1986 to 1993.
Nettles attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia where she studied Sociology and Anthropology. While a student there, Nettles and Cory Jones (who at the time was studying classical guitar at the University of Georgia) formed the group Soul Miner’s Daughter. Performing as both an acoustic duo and with a band, they released two albums: The Sacred and Profane in 1996 and Hallelujah in 1998, both of which were composed of songs written collaboratively by Jones and Nettles.
In 1999, she formed the Jennifer Nettles Band, with whom she released three studio albums and two live albums. The band, who in addition to Nettles included Brad Sikes (drums), Scott Nicholson (piano), Wesley Lupold (bass), and Mike Cebulski (percussion), was selected the grand prize winner from more than 2000 bands in "The Big Deal $100,000 Music Search" presented by Mars Music and was invited to perform at Lilith Fair in 1999.
Friends Jay Memory and Bubba Dean, who perform as Memory Dean, invited Nettles to sing on their 1999 release Still Hungry Souls. According to Alan Back, writing for The Technique, the Georgia Institute of Technology's student newspaper, Nettles' vocals "lend a powerful gospel tone to "Fix My Heart," a standout cut on the album."
SugarlandSugarland was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best New Artist category in 2006. Although they did not win the award, Nettles and Bush performed for the awards show and Nettles presented both a Lifetime Achievement Award to Merle Haggard and the award for Best Country Group.
A duet performance with rock band Bon Jovi, "Who Says You Can't Go Home", reached No. 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The video for the song won a CMT Music Award in 2006 for Collaborative Video Of The Year. In February 2007, Nettles and Bon Jovi won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration. In 2006, Kristen Hall left the group and Nettles and Bush continued on as a duo releasing Enjoy the Ride in November 2006. Their third album, titled Love on the Inside, was released on July 22, 2008.
In an interview on Fox News with Martha MacCullum, Nettles expressed interest in appearing in a Broadway play, stating in particular that she would like to play the role of Elphaba in Wicked.
In early December 2008, Sugarland received three Grammy Award nominations and performed on the 51st Annual Grammy Awards show on February 8, 2009. They won awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.
On Sunday, January 18, 2009, Nettles performed at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, singing James Taylor's "Shower the People" with James Taylor and John Legend.
On February 11, 2009, Sugarland received two nominations from the Academy of Country Music for Top Vocal Duo and Vocal Event of the Year for "Life in a Northern Town". During the broadcast of the April 5, 2009 awards show, Sugarland was presented with the Vocal Duo of the Year award, ending Brooks & Dunn's nine-year run. Nettles also received a Milestone award, presented to her by Reba McEntire.
ABC-TV broadcast the first CMA Country Christmas, hosted by Nettles, on November 29, 2010. Nettles and Sugarland partner Kristian Bush kicked off the evening with their rendition of "Winter Wonderland," backed by the Southern harmonies of Little Big Town. The pair returned to the stage later in the program to perform the hymn "Come, O Come Emmanuel," just before the "Jingle Bell Rock" group grande finale of the 90-minute special.
ActivismNettles has lent her time and talent to support various non-profit organizations. In 2007, one dollar from every ticket sold during Sugarland's CMT Change For Change tour was donated to the Shalom Foundation. More than $120,000 was raised in 2007.
In 2008 she launched Common Thread, a series of musical events enabling artists to come together to share music and raise money for their favorite charities. The first three Common Thread concerts included performances by Nettles, Sugarland partner Kristian Bush, Emily Saliers, and Amos Lee and raised funds for the American Cancer Society, American Liver Foundation, Honor the Earth, and Intercultural Family Services.
Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nettles and Sugarland partner Bush sang on the remake of We Are the World as part of Artists for Haiti.
|Todd Van Sickle|
- As Jennifer Nettles
|1991||For Your Love / You're The One |
- As Soul Miner's Daughter
|1996||The Sacred And Profane|
- As Jennifer Nettles Band
|2000||Story Of Your Bones|
|2002||Gravity: Drag Me Down|
- As Jennifer Nettles
|2003||An Acoustic Evening with Jennifer Nettles |
|2004||An Acoustic Evening with Jennifer Nettles II |
|Year||Single||Artist||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2006||"Who Says You Can't Go Home"||Bon Jovi||1||107||—||—||—||—||—||—||Have a Nice Day|
|2010||"We Are the World 25 for Haiti"||Artists for Haiti||—||2||7||1||9||8||5||15||Non-album song|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2006||"Who Says You Can't Go Home" (with Bon Jovi)||Anthony M. Bongiovi|
|2010||"We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (with Artists for Haiti)||Paul Haggis|
- 1999 Lilith Fair Acoustic Talent Search winner, Soul Miner's Daughter
- 2001 Independent Music Awards Regional Poll in Atlanta for "Bad Girl's Lament" 
- 2005 American Music Awards, Sugarland wins Favorite Breakthrough Artist
- 2006 CMT Collaborative Video of the Year, "Who Says You Can't Go Home"
- 2007 Grammy Award Best Collaboration, "Who Says You Can't Go Home"
- 2007 Country Music Association Awards, Sugarland wins Vocal Duo Of the Year
- 2008 Country Music Association Awards, Sugarland wins Vocal Duo Of the Year
- 2008 Academy of Country Music, Song of the Year, "Stay" (songwriter)
- 2008 Country Music Association Awards Song of the Year, "Stay" (songwriter)
- 2009 Grammy Award Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group for "Stay" 
- 2009 Grammy Award Best Country Song for "Stay" (songwriter)
- 2009 Academy of Country Music, Milestone award; Sugarland wins Vocal Duo of the Year
- 2009 Country Music Association Awards, Sugarland wins Vocal Duo Of the Year