July 22

Sugarland’s “Stay” Tells The Story of Betrayal From A Different Viewpoint

It has been fourteen years since Sugarland’s “Stay” became the country duo’s first chart-topping hit to solely be written by the duo’s one-half, Jennifer Nettles. 

It was released as the final single from their second studio album, Enjoy the Ride. The song then quickly reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, where it remained for four weeks. 

In addition to its commercial success, the song has also received several awards. It was actually the Song of the Year on both Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards in 2008. It also won big during the 51st Grammy Awards, where it took home two honors – including Best Country Song Award for Nettles, her first and only Grammy Award as a songwriter.

Nettles actually wrote the ballad four years prior to its release. It was inspired by Reba McEntire‘s Grammy Award-winning song, “Whoever’s in New England,” that tells the predicament of a wife who thinks her man is having an affair. However, Nettles decided to tackle it from a different point of view. 

While there are a myriad of songs written from the viewpoint of a person betrayed by a lover, Nettles could not find one that sings from the perspective of the other two people involved. The singer-songwriter noted that most people did not realize that even those who are doing the cheating get hurt too. 

So, Nettles chose to put the other woman’s perspective in a song – and the moment she did, she was overwhelmed with emotions that “Stay” pretty much wrote itself. 

Even though Nettles has never lived the track’s storyline, she knew the subject of cheating and betrayal is something many listeners could relate to. Sugarland‘s other member, Kristian Bush, even remembered how he was left speechless by its lyrics the first time he listened to it. 

Make sure to listen to “Stay” by Sugarland in the video below. But unlike most Sugarland songs, Bush did not sing harmony vocals on this one.


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