City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Sugarland, Robert Spano among Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductees

Sugarland's Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles, shown in Atlanta in 2011, will receive the "Performer" award. Photo credit: Robb Cohen/

Sugarland's Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles, shown in Atlanta in 2011, will receive the "Performer" award. Photo credit: Robb Cohen/

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles

and Kristian Bush, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano and Southern rockers .38 Special are among the upcoming inductees to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

The 34th annual awards show will take place at 5 p.m. Oct.14 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and broadcast live on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

In addition to the aforementioned newbies, who will receive, respectively, the “Performer,” “Chairman Award” and  “Group” distinction, the other inductees are:

  • Alex Hodges (“Non-Performer), CEO of Nederlander concerts.
  • Gary Rossington (“Songwriter”), founding member/guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
  • Riley Biederer (“Horizon Award”), 15-year-old singer-songwriter from Atlanta.

Posthumous awards will also be bestowed upon blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins, Fox Theatre organist and WSB personality Bob Van Camp and DJ Skinny Bobby Harper.

Performances are expected from former “American Idol” runner-up Diana DeGarmo (a Snellville, Ga., native) and her fiancée Ace Young, also an “Idol” vet, as well as showings from many of the inductees.

Just-retired TV icon Monica Pearson will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Tickets for the show start at $60 ($20 for students) and go on sale Aug. 4 through Ticketmaster outlets. Visit for more details.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

26 comments Add your comment

Matt B.

July 27th, 2012
3:25 pm

Has there ever been a more undeserving bunch of frauds than Bush and Nettles? What talent has Bush ever displayed apart from looking stupid in that hat? And Nettles’ fake twang is worse than nails on a chalk board.


July 27th, 2012
3:31 pm

Thank you Matt B.

Just sayin..

July 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

He displayed his talent really well when he was apart of Billy Pilgrim…


July 27th, 2012
4:13 pm

I like Sugarland well enough, although it has been fascinating to watch them rise to the top of the country world, know that they basically just decided to become a country group one day after being such fixtures, individually, on the Atlanta music scene for so long. Billy Pilgrim was a good group, as was Soul Miner’s Daughter. In my mind, the most talented songwriter in the group left when Kristin Hall parted ways with them.

What I am really happy to see is Skinny Bobby Harper being recognized. He’s already a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, and I’m glad that he will again be remembered for his contributions to the music industry in Georgia.


July 27th, 2012
4:30 pm

“What talent has Bush ever displayed apart from looking stupid in that hat?”
Are you serious? Have you ever listened to ANY of the songs that he has written? Not only for Sugarland, but for everyone that he has written for and with?!?


July 27th, 2012
4:38 pm

The most talented of the bunch has to be Robert Spano. He has transformed the Atlanta Symphony into a world class orchestra and his own individual musical talents are fantastic. Under his direction the ASO has commissioned and performed more new classical works than almost any other orchestra in the country. Their experiments with “Theater of Sound” include videos and semi-staged concerts that are breaking new ground in the staid classical music world.

Although the world of classical music receives much less coverage in the popular press, Robert is truely a classical “rock star” residing in our city. Perhaps his recognition in the GA Music Hall of Fame will enourage more people to buy a ticket to the ASO and check him out.


July 27th, 2012
5:13 pm

I like Sugarland a lot, and was really amazed at what great talent Jennifer Nettles showed in the recent show “Duets”. She had to sing a wide variety of music, and she did it with style, panache, great professionalism. You can say she doesn’t have talent, but you would be wrong AGAIN……..

dumb ass

July 27th, 2012
5:44 pm

I thought Gary Rossington was from Fla?


July 27th, 2012
7:02 pm

Congratulations to Jennifer and Kristian. Jennifer is that rare combination of a great voice, great performer, and talented songwriter all rolled into one. Kristian has always been a great songwriter. You should listen to their Christmas CD. As for singing, plenty of other great male songwriters can’t sing well (Dylan, Springsteen, and Clapton for example).
Jennifer can add this honor to all she has experienced the last few years – singing for the Olympics, the President several times, CNN Heroes, Kennedy honors, etc. One of her several Grammy awards is for a song she wrote herself (Stay), She is truly world class. And for those who think Jennifer has a fake twang, she is from Douglas, Georgia so give it a rest already for goodness sake.
Jennifer and Kristian are the real things and will be around for years to come. I can;t wait.


July 27th, 2012
7:45 pm

Anyone how says Kristian and Jennifer don’t have talent (a) don’t know crap about song-writing (they write all of thier songs, unlike most of the folks you see on the charts these days), and/or (b) have never seen them perform live.

They are the real deal.


July 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

My sister Scottie is not only a woman of intelligence, integrity and excellence…she is indeed a very talented performer, musician, songwriter…fluent in Spanish…she has worked hard and deserves the honor…so move over haters…a Scottie is being inducted into the GA Hall of Fame…YIP!!!YIP!!!


July 28th, 2012
2:00 am

Enter your comments here


July 28th, 2012
2:07 am

Ditto James & Byron. How wonderful to see them listed with the other greats and I type this as I’m watching an Iron Maiden concert (for real). I was blown away when I saw them live because they have such great chemistry and don’t bore you, it’s entertainment from start to finish. I thought I’d become jaded from working so many concerts & they are an eclectic, fresh breath of air. It’s nice to see people “make it” that actually worked for it!


July 28th, 2012
2:09 am

As long as Col. Bruce Hampton isn’t in the Georgia Music Hall, it is an incomplete thing. Sugarland? Really?

[...] Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will be honored at the 34th Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards on October 14. Nettles and Bush, who are both [...]

Michael St John

July 28th, 2012
7:11 am

What a disappointment that Danny Whitten from Crazy Horse was overlooked on the 40th anniversary of his passing….
Guess we gotta keep putting nominations in each year until they concede defeat & let him in

Matt B.

July 28th, 2012
9:07 am

Okay, I’d like to apologize for my comment regarding Sugarland. I’m really just an untalented musician who still lives with my mama and grandmama in our one bedroom trailer home.

Curtis Lowe

July 28th, 2012
9:29 am

Surgarland…really? Couldn’t agree more about nettles fake southern twang. She didn’t talk like that when she worked at Ryder. If I were Gary Rossington I would tell the Georgia music people they can stick the award up their ASS. It hurt me to Sugarland and the Great Lynyrd Skynyrd in the same article.


July 28th, 2012
9:57 am

Matt B. nailed it. One thing I would add to his excellent post is how are they even eligible for any hall of fame? They are a relatively new band.


July 28th, 2012
1:48 pm

Anyone who doesn’t think that Sugarland deserves to be in this Hall of Fame is as stupid as the previous comments that they made. They are one of the most popular and successful acts to ever come out of Georgia, and then on top of that you question they’re songwriting abilities. Their Grammies.CMAs, and ACM awards show otherwise. I am very proud of Jennifer and Kristian for what they have done. Congratulations to the both of them.


July 28th, 2012
5:07 pm

Glad to see .38 Special getting some recognition. They are still out there “rockin’ into the night”.


July 28th, 2012
5:33 pm

Rossington is from Florida, and his wikipedia entry doesn’t mention Georgia.


July 28th, 2012
9:16 pm

Rossington and the rest of the band are from Jacksonville. Atlanta was Skynyrd’s second musical home. Although Rossington is not from here he’s spent a lot of time here. One of the best
live albums of all time, “One More from the Road” was recorded at the Fox in July ‘76. The Allman’s hail form Daytona, but there musical association is Macon GA and not Daytona. My point? Rossington was not born and raised here but his band has done a helluva lot for Georgia music and he deserves a spot in the GA Hall of Fame.

[...] News here – Atlanta Music Scene ← Atlanta restaurants celebrate the Olympics Cancel [...]

Jennifer Fuller

July 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

I am the biggest Sugarland fan in the world. They are the best country duo out there and I just saw them in concert in Valdosta. I love them.

Charlie B

July 30th, 2012
10:12 am

Gary Rossington and his family have lived in Atlanta since 1997. Lynyrd Skynyrd has been inducted into both the Georgia and Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. He is a co-writer on many Skynyrd hits including Sweet Home Alabama and Simple Man.