Kristian Bush, one half of international super-duo Sugarland, has been leaving his mark on music for more than two decades.
Bush is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who started his career with folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim in the early ’90s. He and partner Andrew Hyra released a much-lauded pair of albums for Atlantic Records (their 1994 self-titled debut and 1995’s Bloom), earning multiple Top 5 singles on the AAA charts, rotation on VH1, and a reputation as dynamic live performers who traveled from the tiny stage of Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, to a worldwide tour supporting Melissa Etheridge in 1995.
Bush founded Sugarland in 2002; in 2004, he and singer Jennifer Nettles exploded onto the music scene, and haven’t stopped since. They have surpassed sales of over 22 million albums worldwide, achieved eight No. 1 singles and won numerous awards, including trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards. In October of 2012, they were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
His live solo debut came in March 2013 during the inaugural C2C: Country to Country Festival at the O2 Arena in London; his first single as a solo act, “Love or Money,” debuted in the UK and Europe the following week. Bush also regularly appears as part of the CMA Songwriters Series in cities around the world, and in 2013 he performed everywhere from CMA Fest to Lollapalooza.
To date, Bush has won six BMI Awards for his songwriting abilities, and in 2011 founded the music publishing company and songwriting collective Songs of the Architect. Recent producing/songwriting collaborations include Rita Wilson, Dia Frampton, Ellis Paul, Laura Bell Bundy, Matt Nathanson, the dB’s, Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, and up-and-comers including Kristina Train, Larkin Poe, Natalie Stovall, Canaan Smith, Jaida Dreyer and Alana Springsteen.
He is a frequent panelist at events for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and has become a sought-after expert on disruptive business practices, word of mouth marketing, digital media/fan engagement, and studio engineering. He was the keynote speaker for the 2009 WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas as well as WOMMFest 2013; he also keynoted the 2013 Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo and 2012 events like the Durango Songwriters Expo in Ventura, Calif. and the Leadership Music Digital Summit in Nashville. He has given feature presentations at events ranging in size from the international BP Next Conference to the inaugural Blackbird Academy high school studio recording program.
Releasing his debut solo album this year, Kristian’s first single “Trailer Hitch” was named “one of the best country songs of 2014” by Rolling Stone. This past holiday season he partnered with Goodwill Industries International as celebrity ambassador for campaign featuring the “pay it forward” message of “Trailer Hitch.”
Bush is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, where he still resides.
"But here's the secret about Kristian Bush, he's easily as good a marketer as he is a musician. Really! The reality of the music business is that he has to be in order to have the best chance at a career as a musician. He's not only great at doing it for himself and his many projects but he's great at explaining how he sees marketing evolving and how the audience can apply his lessons to their tasks, today. "- CEO, Fizz
"He spoke eloquently and with humor about music, social media, and many other topics. He addressed both the topic at hand as well as his philosophy behind these decisions, a trait very rare amongst artists. Post-event feedback unanimously chose his keynote as the day's highlight and it was easy to see why. In any future events I may program, Kristian will always be at the top of my list."- Co-Chair, Leadership Music Summit 2012
"Kristian is one of the few people in the music industry that has success in so many facets of the industry; artist, songwriter, producer, studio owner. He speaks truthfully about all of these, letting students know the ups/downs of the industry and how hard they will have to work to be successful. He never sugarcoated anything, yet through his love and excitement for what he does, every single person left with a new insight and respect for the music!"- Director of Student Operations & Marketing, The Blackbird Academy