Kristen Hall is leaving country music band Sugarland to focus her attention on songwriting.

Hall, who started out as a roadie for folk-rock duo Indigo Girls, wrote most of the songs on Sugarland's platinum debut album TWICE THE SPEED OF LIFE.

In a statement, fellow members Jennifer Nettles and KRISTIAN BUSH said: "Kristen has decided that she wants to stay home and write songs, and we support her in that decision."

Sugarland will carry on performing and will still open for Kenny Chesney on his tour beginning 23 March (06) in Dayton, Ohio - according to a spokesman for Universal Music Group Nashville.