This spring, Kristian Bush released what just may be the happiest album of the year, despite crafting it during the darkest period of his life. When the deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse happened in 2011 — just before the musician and his Sugarland partner, Jennifer Nettles were set to hit the stage — Bush was going through a divorce. He started to find that songwriting was the best therapy, but surprisingly, you won’t find much heartache on his first solo album, Southern Gravity. In fact, the project’s second single, “Light Me Up,” is one of a handful of romantic tracks.
“I still believe in love,” Bush tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’m not one of those people who gives up on it, and I think that’s the right message.”
The uptempo, uplifting tune, co-written with Jesse Rice, hit country radio this week — more than 10 months after the project’s first single, “Trailer Hitch” was released. Though Bush has enjoyed platinum-selling, Grammy winning success with Sugarland, he’s approached his solo career like a brand-new artist, fighting to get airplay.
“My whole life, I’ve wanted to be on the radio,” he says of making sure his album has contemporary country radio appeal. “I want as many people as possible to hear these songs. Radio is such a great megaphone for that.”
Bush debuted the tune on one of many visits to the Grand Ole Opry last month. His next appearance on the coveted stage is set for June 13th.