Born and raised in Tennessee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and one half of Grammy Award-winning country duo Sugarland, Kristian Merrill Bush was raised just outside of Knoxville in the small town of Sevierville, the same Smoky Mountain community that gave the world Dolly Parton -- he made his musical debut on the violin in the single digits, alongside his younger brother Brandon, opening for Parton. After switching to guitar and attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Bush started the folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim with Andrew Hyra. The pair issued five albums together, including two for Atlantic Records, before going their separate ways in 2001. He co-founded Sugarland the following year with singer Jennifer Nettles and released the first of a long string of successful albums and number one singles. In 2014 Bush released his first solo album, the Streamsound Records-issued Southern Gravity.