COUNTRY NEWS

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard Each Reveal How FGL Broke Up

May 14, 2024, 5:34 PM

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line...

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line speaking onstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2010, a guy from Florida (Brian Kelley) and a guy from Georgia (Tyler Hubbard) came together to form one of the greatest country music duos we’ve ever seen.

For 12 years, Florida Georgia Line dominated the country music scene and changed the game in country music.

Now the duo has broken up, but not many know why they separated. There were a lot of rumors of the band breaking up because of politics and social media battles, but that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Tyler Hubbard joined the “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast on May 7, hosted by NFL players Will Compton and Taylor Lewan, and gave his side of the story as to why FGL is no longer together.

“For me, it was really unexpected. But BK (Brian Kelley) came to me and said, ‘Man, I’m really feeling like I want to do a solo thing. And I’m like, ‘Really?’ We were just getting out of our first deal. We were kind of in a sweet spot that we had worked for 10 years to get to,” Hubbard continued. “I’m like, ‘Why don’t we ride this thing out for like five more years, 10 more years, and then we can do the solo thing or whatever?’”

Hubbard explained that he wanted to support Kelley on his decision, “He was adamant, like, ‘Nah, now’s my time. I really need to do this for myself.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, hey, whatever you need to do, bro. Like, what do you want from me?’ He’s like, ‘I just want support.’ So I’m like, OK you got it.”

“He definitely initiated the whole thing from the beginning,” the Georgia native said. “When I say it caught me off-guard, it wasn’t that we had never mentioned it before. It’s just I didn’t think it was going to happen then.”

Later in the interview, Hubbard admitted that Kelley wanted to do some solo music, but also wanted to do Florida Georgia Line too, but Hubbard didn’t want to do that.

“BK had this thing where he wanted to still do Florida Georgia Line, but he wanted to do the solo thing, too, and I had to tell him I can’t do both.”

Hubbard also mentioned that he told Kelley, “I’m going to give you the choice, but it’s either Florida Georgia Line or a solo career.”

Once the episode aired, Kelley reached out to Compton and Lewan and explained that he wanted to jump on the show and give his side of the story because he didn’t fully agree with everything Hubbard said.

On May 9, Kelley made his appearance on the same podcast.

“I don’t think this is really a beef situation, but I do think it’s important to speak my truth and at the same time stand up for myself because it’s not just him that was FGL, there was two of us and that’s what made it so special.”

Kelley clarified the narrative that he wanted a solo career.

“We’ve had the conversation of having extra outlets since 2016 and then every two years after that.” Kelley continued, “I had voiced that I want to obviously keep doing FGL, but for me in my off-time, when songwriters, creatives are alone, you find even more of yourself and there’s going to be songs over the years that just being a songwriter I’m going to write that aren’t going to fit the brand of FGL.”

“We kind of made a deal where once our fifth record is done, our terms are up, we’re going to create more freedom for ourselves, we’re going to keep FGL going, we’re going to put out some solo stuff. It wasn’t a surprise because the marker was in place of once our deal came up, and I want you guys to know and I want the fans to know, we we’re trailblazers and I was a part of that.”

“I had an idea that when our deal came up, Tyler [Hubbard] would get a solo deal under the same label, I would get a record deal and then we would re-negotiate a new record deal.”

In fact, Kelley explained that he had an idea to have a three-hour show without openers and the two could play their solo music as well as songs from FGL.

Kelley also pointed out that Hubbard had put out solo music before he did.

“I just want to be factual here, Tyler [Hubbard] had solo music out before I even did. Before we even had out fifth album out, he had released a couple of songs. He had played Biden’s inauguration, which was a huge look to be a solo act with Tim McGraw.”

Hubbard and McGraw released the song, “Undivided” and played it ahead of President Jo Biden’s inauguration in January of 2021.

“He released another song and I didn’t start releasing music until April (2021). I‘d love for fans and anybody listening to know that’s the truth. He was rocking at radio immediately at the top of January of 2021.”

Kelley explained that it was Hubbard’s idea to make announcements public about the duo’s future plans.

“I wasn’t ready to make an announcement on having solo outlets and do that. He [Hubbard] really thought it was necessarily to do that on January 3rd or 4th, you can go back and look on the FGL Instagram of 2021. It was his idea to go on and say ‘Hey we’re going to be doing some different things, we’re going to still tour,’ and that was only because he had a song with McGraw coming out.”

“His song came out in January, our album was coming out in February and I was ready to ride that out, go do press and focus on that and not in a place where I wanted to rush out this announcement.”

Kelley also mentioned that he thought Hubbard was concerned about what a solo outlet would do to the brand of FGL.

“He voiced that many times to me.” Compton then asked Kelley what his solo career would do to the FGL brand, per Hubbard.

“Water it down,” Kelley responded.

“To me, I worded it that nothing would change.” Kelley continued, “Specifically, on figuring out a week to block out writing some songs or recording, I’ll never not be there. I just thought it was a great look for both of us. Like I encouraged him to do some solo, I want to do some solo and then we’ll continue to do what we’ve always done and trailblaze.”

It’s unclear if the duo will ever get back together, but both artists have put out solo albums with Hubbard putting out his first solo album, “Tyler Hubbard” in 2023 that included his hit song, “Dancin’ in the Country”.

Hubbard also released his 2nd album, “Strong” back in April.

Kelley on the other hand put out his first studio album, “Sunshine State of Mind” back in 2021 and just dropped his newest album on May 10 called “Tennessee Truth”.

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