Tyler Hubbard & Brian Kelley Discuss Florida Georgia Line’s Breakup

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By 5mustsee.com

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are opening up about why they decided to part ways as the duo Florida Georgia Line. Both Hubbard and Kelley spoke separately on the Bussin’ With the Boys podcast, sharing their perspectives on the events leading to the breakup.


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Hubbard and Kelley’s final performance as FGL was in September 2022 at the Minnesota State Fair.

Hubbard was the first to appear on the podcast, sharing that Kelley was the one who initiated the split to pursue a solo career.

“For me, it was quite unexpected. But [Brian Kelley] came to me and said, ‘Man, I’m really feeling like I want to pursue a solo endeavor.’ And I’m like, ‘Really?’ We had just finished our first deal. We were at a point that we had worked hard for 10 years to reach,” Hubbard explained. “I suggested, ‘Why don’t we keep going for another five or ten years, and then consider solo projects or other ventures.’

“However, he was insistent, saying, ‘No, now’s the time. I really need to do this for myself.’ I responded, ‘Well, hey, whatever you need, bro. What do you need from me?’ He replied, ‘Just your support.’ So I agreed … maybe this could bring us back together for a reunion tour,’” Hubbard continued. “He was the one who initiated everything from the start … when I say it took me by surprise, it’s not that we hadn’t discussed it before, but I didn’t anticipate it happening then.”

Initially, Hubbard thought he would stick to songwriting, but he realized he would miss being a performing artist. He also mentioned that upon learning of Kelley’s desire to go solo, “There was a period where I was bewildered, like, ‘Why?’ We had several discussions… it felt like a separation … BK wanted to continue with Florida Georgia Line but also pursue a solo career. I had to clarify … I couldn’t juggle both,” Hubbard said. “I told him, ‘You have to choose between Florida Georgia Line and a solo career.’ I couldn’t handle two careers simultaneously, not to mention the logistical challenges. When we write songs, who are they for? When we get show offers, one for FGL and one solo, which do we choose? I couldn’t see how that would work, practically or emotionally.”

Kelley appeared on the podcast the next day to present his perspective, revealing that as early as 2016, they had discussed each having side projects to release solo music.

“I expressed my desire to continue with FGL but wanted the freedom to explore my individual creativity during my off time. Over the years … there are songs that I write … that don’t align with FGL’s style, so it was important for me to honor my artistry, songwriting, and express that for a while,” Kelley stated. “It wasn’t unexpected, as the plan was that once our contract expired … my assumption was that Tyler would pursue a solo deal with the same label, and I would sign a record deal, following which we would negotiate a new contract for the band.”

Kelley mentioned that he proposed performing lengthy, three-hour shows with no opening acts, incorporating both Florida Georgia Line songs and individual performances by each of them.

“I wanted to do it all,” Kelley emphasized. “It wasn’t unreasonable. Take Lady A for example — Hillary [Scott] does solo projects in the Christian genre; Charles Kelley has done solo material, performs solo shows, and I admire the way they handle that. It’s special to honor yourself and what you’ve built… that was my mindset. It wasn’t merely about having a solo career — I would phrase it as ‘I want a solo outlet as a creative, as a songwriter.’ I wanted to reframe that narrative. Deciding how to categorize things isn’t difficult. It’s not an emotional decision when it comes to discussions on the business and creativity aspects.”

They had agreed to postpone releasing solo music until after their current contract ended and they released their fifth FGL album. However, Kelley was taken by surprise when he learned in December 2020 that Hubbard was planning to release a solo track with Tim McGraw; in January 2021, Hubbard and McGraw unveiled “Undivided.”

Kelley expressed his “surprise … shock, for sure, just like, ‘I thought we had an agreement in place about the plan.’ My main concern was protecting FGL. I didn’t believe it was a good move, whether done by me or him. FGL was my top priority … many believe I left solely to pursue solo projects, following what he’s claiming.”

Kelley also disclosed that they attended counseling sessions to discuss their strategies for managing their individual creative pursuits.

Hubbard released his initial EP, Dancin’ in the Country, in August 2022, followed by his eponymous solo album in January 2023. Hubbard has achieved a No. 1 Billboard Country Airplay hit with “5 Foot 9,” and recently released his new album Strong.

Kelley’s premier solo EP, BK’s Wave Pack,, was issued in April 2021. He subsequently released the full-length album Sunshine State of Mind in June 2021.

Kelley pinpointed the release of his album in June 2021 as the turning point when, as mentioned on the podcast, “it was conveyed to me that we were essentially done,” following a direct message from Hubbard.

“It shifted from no musical endeavors in the foreseeable future to now we won’t even be touring … I’m simply here to speak the truth, not to cause any upheaval, etcetera. I am here to stand up for myself, my family, and as I mentioned earlier, the fans,” shared Kelley, whose newest album, Tennessee Truth, comes out Friday (May 10).

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