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Country music star Kristian Bush talks Sugarland’s reactivation, coming to Bakersfield

Kristian Bush of Sugarland speaks Friday, May 11, 2018, to Eyewitness News in Bakersfield, Calif., from his home in Atlanta, via Facebook Messenger. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – Country music star Kristian Bush joined Eyewitness News on Friday morning to discuss the “reactivated” Sugarland’s upcoming album, “Bigger,” along with their tour that will come through Bakersfield next month.

He and Jennifer Nettles are back with Sugarland’s first new music in seven years. The duo took a hiatus to pursue solo projects.

Eyewitness News asked Bush how their lives have changed while away from each other.

“Jennifer has become a mother and I have teenagers,” he said with a laugh.

Sugarland will play Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena on June 15, part of a 48-city tour that begins May 25. “Bigger” hits stores June 8.

Bush said those aforementioned changes in their personal lives drove the songwriting in “Bigger.”

“I would say that most of this album is informed by me looking out at the world and trying to figure out, ‘What am I going to tell my kids? How do I explain to them what’s going on around them?’” he told Eyewitness News via an online interview from his home in Atlanta.

Another driving force for Sugarland’s new music: “We write songs to empower women.”

To that end, Bush said he’s currently listening to the Emmylou Harris Anthology and the new record from Janelle Monae for inspiration.

Bush said there are pop influences in Sugarland’s new music, noting that country music is “music of the people” and defined by its listeners.

Bush tipped his hat to the volumes of great music that have come from Bakersfield.

“We love Bakersfield,” he said, noting he’s been here many times.

While he and Nettles are playing Rabobank Arena this time, he said he’s very familiar with another Bakersfield music venue: Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.

“I keep trying to figure out ways to get that car off the wall,” he joked.

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