Florida Georgia Line‘s first single, “Cruise,” shot straight to No. 1 when it was released in 2012 and has sold more than 7 million copies to date. The duo’s early success kicked off an unprecedented career, with Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley quickly earning legions of loyal fans, even before their debut album Here’s to the Good Times was released.
Fast-forward four years, and FGL are performing in sold-out venues all across the country, serving as an opening act on some of country music’s biggest tours and headlining treks of their own — successes that Hubbard credits to their “very, very passionate fans.”
“We don’t look at it as weird; we just look at it as passion,” Hubbard tells The Boot of the things fans have done for them. “That’s something we don’t take for granted. Whatever motivates these people and pushes these people to be so passionate about two guys, it’s a cool thing.
“Without those fans, there wouldn’t be any fans, so we chuckle. We go hug their necks, and we laugh. If we are laughing about it, it’s because we’re so blown away by how unreal it is and how loyal our fans are,” Hubbard continues. “We have the best fans in the world, and they’re going to be around for a while.”
Friends since college, when they were both worship leaders at a local church, Hubbard and Kelley place their friendship above their career.
“We get along great; we’re pretty much best friends. We really are,” Hubbard says. “I was best man in his wedding, he was best man in my wedding. We practically lived together for the last six years. We really get along great; we know each other so well that it works. It’s like a marriage, if you will: It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it.”
It’s also helpful to have a friend by your side while navigating fame.
“With all that’s happening so quickly, it’s a dream come true for us. It’s really a testament to country music and the fans and country radio and the power of the fans,” Hubbard muses. “To see this dream come true at the rate that it has is amazing. But it keeps motivating us to write better songs, put out better music, become better artists. It pushes us to become better artists every day, so it’s awesome.”
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