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Sugarland’s Kristian Bush Shares What Parenting Advice He Gave Jennifer Nettles

Erika Goldring, Getty Images

Sugarland‘s Kristian Bush has some advice for singing partner Jennifer Nettles, who is currently expecting her first child with husband Justin Miller. “Sleep now,” he says with a laugh.

He knows from experience. Bush has two children with his wife Jill. “The only piece of advice I gave her was [to] stop reading birthing books and start reading parenting books,” Bush said. “Right when you get pregnant, forget it. Nature’s going to take care of you. What you need to do is figure out what to do the day after [you have a child], because you’re only pregnant for nine months, but you are a parent for the rest of your life.”

Taste of Country caught up with Kristian during the CMA Songwriters Series, held in Nashville on Wednesday (Oct. 31). He, along with songwriter Brett James, songwriter Bob DiPiero and ‘You Don’t Know Her Like I Do’ singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert, sailed through a mix of hits (such as Sugarland’s ‘Baby Girl’) and new material (including one new song that Bush penned, ‘Fire and Ice.’)

Bush has spent considerable time traveling the globe in recent months, on a quest to further hone his songwriting craft. That included a writing session with Will Jennings, best known for penning music for the films ‘Titanic’ and ‘An Officer and a Gentleman.’

“I went to California and wrote with Will,” says Bush. “I’m always humbled by how much there is to learn. The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know. He was older than me so what I learned is that there is a real focus on the gravity of what you say. The older generation is teaching me that what you say really, really matters. Don’t mess around, don’t slip on a banana peel and put the wrong word in your song that you don’t mean.”

On the other side of the globe, in Sweden, Bush says his musical collaborations caused his sense of melody to evolve. “I learned the joy of closing your eyes and letting a melody take you away. They are two completely different pieces to the puzzle and I feel lucky that in a very short time I’ve been absorbing both. I have a deeper appreciation for things that are melodic and well-said. I’m hoping to assimilate all that,” says Bush.

He is certain his musical lessons will come in to play when he and Nettles reunite to create more Sugarland tunes. “That’s the whole idea,” says Bush. “Jennifer and I are so much lightning in a bottle when we get in a room, that I want to be really well-prepared.”

One thing Bush knows is that when the duo does decide to collaborate on new tunes, both Sugarland members will have new experiences to draw from. “The songs you write on this side of being a mom are different from the songs that you write on the other side of being a mom,” he says, referring to Nettles. “It’s the same thing.”

Next: Country Stars With Their Kids

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