At the 51st annual Grammy Awards, Sugarland took home a pair of trophies for their single “Stay.” But while the golden gramophones certainly boosted their profile, it was their cross-genre performance with Adele that introduced them to a more pop-savvy audience.
Following a bare bones but passionate take on their Grammy-winning ballad from 2006’s Enjoy the Ride, the duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush ceded the stage to English vocalist Adele, who performed her own Grammy-winning hit, “Chasing Pavements.” Toward the end of the song, Nettles and Bush returned to accompany the singer. As Bush added some well-placed mandolin, Adele and Nettles trading the song’s remaining lines, one-upping each other with impressive vocal licks. (Watch the full performance above.)
“Chasing Pavements” was the breakthrough single for Adele, and many in the U.S. first heard the song during her performance on Saturday Night Live in 2008. Her debut album, 19, included a version of the Bob Dylan-penned “Make You Feel My Love,” which was also covered in 1998 as “To Make You Feel My Love” in separate versions by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Adele’s follow-up LP, 21, released in 2011, would go on to sell 30 million copies worldwide. The disc was inspired in part by the singer’s exposure to country music during her extensive tour of the south in 2008.
As for Sugarland, the group has been on extended hiatus, with its key players launching solo careers. Bush will release his highly anticipated debut solo album, Southern Gravity, on April 7th. The LP’s inspirational first single “Trailer Hitch,” which was accompanied by a video that found the singer menaced by zombies in an East Nashville bar, is just shy of breaking the Top 20 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. Bush recently returned from a tour of Australia, where the song became a big hit after the video reached Number One.
Nettles, meanwhile, released her solo album That Girl in 2014 and is currently appearing on Broadway, playing Roxie Hart in the long-running hit musical Chicago. She’ll also cameo on Reba McEntire’s upcoming album, Love Somebody, singing on the track “Enough.”