Country singer Tyler Hubbard’s growth expands beyond Florida Georgia Line

Tyler Hubbard wasn’t sure what his options were when his Florida Georgia Line duo partner Brian Kelley said he wanted to go solo.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Singer-songwriter Tyler Hubbard was fully prepared to hang up his boots, so to speak, when his Florida Georgia Line duet partner Brian Kelley said he wanted to go solo.

The pair had been together for more than a decade, and whether you were a fan of his brother’s country sound or not, their music (“Cruise,” “Meant To Be,” “Round Here”) set the tone for a generation. of country music. Hubbard, who had scored more than a dozen hits as a songwriter for FGL and other artists like Jason Aldean, thought he would concentrate on writing only for other artists.

“That’s a really big transition in the career of one, 10 or 12 years, and to say we’re going to turn around right now,” Hubbard said. “I didn’t expect it to happen then. And it took a minute, you know, it really did. But we were also in the middle of a pandemic. And so I had no choice anyway.”

But the COVID-19 pandemic made him realize that his need to perform and record was stronger than ever. Now, a year after launching his solo career, Hubbard has reintroduced himself to fans with two No. 1 songs and a debut record.

“I’m grateful that (Brian) had the courage to go into this new space and make that decision that ultimately pushed me to make the same decision and led me to where I am now,” Hubbard said.

Both Kelley and Hubbard have said that there is no bad blood between them and that FGL is not breaking up, but rather “taking a break”. Now the two seem intent on exploring music they couldn’t make together. Kelley, the Florida-born singer, has been exploring his coastal country music, while Hubbard’s self-titled debut solo album released in January gave him a chance to reflect on his personal life, being a father, husband and the faith of him

But Hubbard acknowledges that there is always skepticism when an artist goes solo after unprecedented success in a group or band. The Georgia-born singer took it as a challenge.

“Many people told me that it couldn’t be done and that I should definitely continue with FGL,” Hubbard said. “And it lit a spark in me, a fire.”

Hubbard’s two singles, the platinum-certified “5 Foot 9” about his wife and “Dancin’ in the Country,” which he co-wrote with Keith Urban, show that fans haven’t forgotten Hubbard, or possibly that he’s changing his mind. opinion. of people who never considered themselves FGL fans.

Producer/songwriter Jordan Schmidt was the first person signed to Hubbard and Kelley’s Tree Vibez publishing house, and he recalls that they instilled in him a strong work ethic. The duo would bring their writers on a bus with them as they toured and spent time before or after shows just writing and creating songs.

So Schmidt was a perfect fit as co-producer and co-writer of Hubbard’s solo album.

“Naturally it’s going to be different, he’s making all the decisions,” Schmidt said. “But in the big scheme, it’s the same mentality and work ethic that he had with FGL in terms of ‘I want to write songs that move the needle.’ He’s still putting out songs that sound unique and different, like ‘Cruise’ back in the day.”

And he’s putting in his dues like any new act. Hubbard opened for Urban on his tour last fall and is hitting the festivals and fairs this summer, an environment somewhat different from the high-energy, fireworks arena grand shows of the Florida Georgia Line.

“I really enjoyed being able to go back and play these smaller shows and really have little to no production,” Hubbard said.

And as Hubbard has grown, so have his fans.

“I hope they can evolve with me, because I feel like it was a season,” Hubbard said. “It was a chapter in my life, probably a chapter in the lives of many fans, probably a soundtrack to many. memories.”


Follow Kristin M. Hall at