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Florida Georgia Line Riding High with Recent Success

  • Mary Morningstar

Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.

Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line, on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, May 19, 2013.

During the past few years, the Country music industry has seen the arrival of several new duos. One of the most successful is Florida Georgia Line.

“Cruise” was the first single from the group’s debut album, “Here’s To The Good Times.” The album topped the Billboard Magazine Country chart. Last month, “Cruise” set a record on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by spending a 12th week at Number One, longer than any other duo in the 69-year history of that list. The track sold nearly 4.3 million copies to become the best-selling tune by a Country duo in the era of digital singles.

Florida Georgia Line is 27-year-old Brian Kelley from Ormond Beach, Florida and 26-year-old Tyler Hubbard from Monroe, Georgia. They met while attending Nashville’s Belmont University. Following graduation, Kelley and Hubbard packed a car and traveled the United States playing their music anywhere they were hired. Florida Georgia Line eventually caught the attention of record companies, and last year they signed with Big Machine Records’ Republic Nashville label.

The second big hit from “Here’s To The Good Times” was “Get Your Shine On.” The duo’s Brian Kelley describes the songwriting session for the recent Number One Country Airplay track.

“That was one of my personal favorite days of writing that we’ve ever had," he said. "We wrote it about a year ago right before the Big Loud Shirt Christmas party. Tyler came in with that hook ‘Get Your Shine On.’ He threw that out at us and Chris Tompkins and Rodney Clawson. We were off to the races. I mean, I think we wrote it in an hour and a half. It’s one of those songs just like “Cruise” that came together really quick. Every songwriter will tell you it doesn’t always happen like that. You really [have to] count your lucky stars and thank the songwriting Gods when it does happen quick[ly].”

The success of Florida Georgia Line’s first two hits brought the duo two Academy of Country Music Awards for Best New Artist and Best New Country Duo.

Florida Georgia Line will spend much of 2013 performing concerts throughout the United States. In addition to appearances at summer festivals and local fairs, the duo has secured high-profile opening slots on Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan’s North American tours.

Tyler Hubbard describes the appreciation Florida Georgia Line has for its fans.

“I can relate to them and it means a lot to us if they want to take that hard-earned money, whatever they do," he said. "We’ve both had jobs where a dollar goes a long way. We might have been making eight or nine bucks an hour doing some really bad jobs we hated. So, money’s still sparse and we still try to stretch it, but it’s cool to have fans spend money on a ticket or spend money on a CD or buy a T-shirt when you know 15 bucks could be two meals. Yeah, it just goes to show how passionate our fans are and how much they believe in us and support goes such a long way and we never take that for granted.”

Later this year, the duo will return to the recording studio to work on its second album. In the meantime, they are watching the third single from their debut album, “Round Here,” climb the popularity charts.