AP Photo / Curtis Hilbun
With great success can come great spoils. And, perhaps, the ire of the person who's missing out on the spoils.
Kristen Hall, one of the founding members of Sugarland, the country duo whose latest effort, Love on the Inside, currently boasts the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, has sued her former bandmates for what she says is her fair share of the money they've been raking in since she left the group in 2005.
According to a lawsuit filed July 29 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Hall and fellow Atlanta music-makers Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles had an agreement entitling each to an equal stake in Sugarland's profits and losses—but the checks stopped coming once she decided to pursue a solo career.
The trio "jointly endeavored to make the band Sugarland a creative and commercial success, and Hall contributed significant time, effort, energy and passion toward the creative and commercial success of Sugarland," the complaint states.
Per the suit, Hall rerecorded the version of the band's breakthrough single, "Baby Girl," that became one of the longest-charting debut singles in country music history and wrote or cowrote every track on their double-platinum 2004 album Twice the Speed of Life.
Also in 2005, while Hall was still with them, Sugarland was named Breakthrough Favorite New Artist at the American Music Awards.
By excluding her from their profit-sharing agreement pertaining to the albums they put out as a trio, Nettles and Bush "have acted in bad faith, have been stubbornly litigious and have caused [Hall] unnecessary trouble and expense," the suit continues.
Hall is asking for at least $1.5 million and a "formal accounting of all partnership affairs and businesses."
A rep for Sugarland referred a request for comment to the band's Los Angeles attorney, Gary Gilbert, whose office said he is currently out of town, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After Hall left, Sugarland scored another multiplatinum hit with 2006's Enjoy the Ride and has picked up an armload of CMT and Academy of Country Music awards, including two ACMAs earlier this year for the song "Stay."