Eighteen years ago today, on Oct. 26, 2004, Sugarland – a trio at the time — released their debut album, Twice the Speed of Life, on Mercury Nashville.
Sugarland, made up of Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush and Kristen Hall, formed in Georgia in 2002 and immediately set to work on their freshman project. At least one of the three artists wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on Twice the Speed of Life; all three of them helped write the record’s debut single, “Baby Girl.”
“It was not only autobiographical, but it was also a self-fulfilling prophecy, in the sense that it was the first single and it manifested itself in a way of showing that success,” Nettles tells SongFacts.com of “Baby Girl.” “And, granted, every artist — every person, really — can relate to having a dream and wanting to go after it and wanting to make your folks proud and having that be part of the joy of it … I love the story of that song and how it unfolded and how art definitely imitated life in that sense.”
All four singles from Twice the Speed of Life – ”Something More,” “Just Might Make Me Believe” and “Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good),” in addition to “Baby Girl” — landed in the Top 20, with “Baby Girl” and “Something More” both peaking at No. 2.
Despite Sugarland’s success, a little more than one year after Twice the Speed of Life was released, Hall left the group, claiming that she wanted to pursue other options.
“Kristen has decided that she wants to stay home and write songs, and we support her in that decision,” Nettles and Bush said on the band’s website at the time.
Sugarland won an ACM Awards trophy for Top New Duo or Group in 2005, thanks partially to the success of Twice the Speed of Life. They were also nominated for several other ACM Awards that year, including Album of the Year.
To date, Twice the Speed of Life has sold more than 3 million copies.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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