Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles Took Darius Rucker's Ballad 'Over The Top'

By Kelly Fisher

April 26, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Darius Rucker has been wanting to collaborate with Jennifer Nettles for years.

The South Carolina-born singer-songwriter fulfilled that longtime goal with a new version of “Never Been Over,” a track that appears on the full-length album he titled as a tribute to his late mother. The Sugarland star joined Rucker on the duet version that made its debut on Friday (April 26), after Rucker shared a few teasers on his social media pages. He kept his duet partner’s identity under wraps until Thursday (April 25).

“I wrote it with John Osborne and Lee Miller, and we cut it,” Rucker said of “Never Been Over,” via his record label. “We talked about doing a duet, talked about a doing a duet. We just got deep in the record and never did it. It was the first song that I ever went to the label and said, ‘Will you make this a single?’ And they said yeah, and I wanted to make it a duet so bad. And we talked about folks and talked about it, and somebody said Jennifer, I think my manager said, ‘How about Jennifer Nettles?’ And I instantly I went, ‘Absolutely,’ because ever since ‘Stay,’ I’ve wanted to sing with her, and I’m so glad I finally got to.”

Rucker said as he revealed Nettles as the artist to join him on “Never Been Over”: “Just when I thought I loved this song, here comes Jennifer taking it over the top!!” He added on Friday: “This is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written, but it always felt like it needed something more.”

Nettles also recently collaborated with Little Big Town and Sugarland duo partner Kristian Bush on “Take Me Home,” and delivered the debut performance live at the 2024 CMT Music Awards earlier this month. Sugarland will join Little Big Town — Karen FairchildKimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook — on their co-headlining tour later this year. Rucker is “getting back on the road” with Hootie & the Blowfish on the “Summer Camp With Trucks Tour,” kicking off late next month.

Listen to the new version of “Never Been Over” featuring Nettles here:

Darius RuckerJennifer NettlesSugarland
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