First, a few quick facts on Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard:
- Tyler and Brian met at Belmont University in Nashville after Brian transferred from Florida State where he was playing baseball.
- The name comes from their home states: Tyler is from Georgia and Brian is from Florida
- They lived in what they called “The Fun House” in Nashville with other people that are now in their band plus Chase Rice
- While living in the Fun House, the boys wrote Cruise. Brian was the only one who thought it’d be a huge hit.
- Fast forward a few years and they each have their own amazing house with their wives AND they have built the FGL House in downtown Nashville off of Broadway
Okay, so Florida Georgia Line was formed in 2010. By December of 2011 they had signed a publishing deal with Big Loud Mountain. In July of 2012 the boys signed with Republic Nashville (part of Big Machine Label Group). Their first single, Cruise, was released in August of 2012, but it was on YouTube (along with many other pre-famous FGL songs) before then. If you didn’t read my ‘Where it all Began’ blog, I heard it that summer, so right before it was released and took over country radio. My friend played me the song off YouTube one day during our lunch break and I was HOOKED. Five years later and I still smile every time I hear it. Cruise is the ONLY country song to ever be awarded the Diamond certification, selling over 10 million copies. Only a truly great duo could accomplish a feat like that.
My love for FGL began the second I heard Cruise. I followed them on social media and even started following their girlfriends at the time because they looked cool too. Throughout my fan girl stage I really got into everything they were into or at least what they posted. Tyler was all about dirt bikes and Brian seemed to be all about the outdoors, both of which I truly loved myself. They also posted about God and being thankful and appreciative of every thing that was happening to them in the music industry. They just seemed so down to earth and easy going. I was in high school at the time and probably the least easy going person in the world. They were my idols and I looked up to them so much that I told myself to make a conscious effort at being more at peace with things. Their music played a huge part in helping me make that happen.
I first saw Florida Georgia Line perform in 2013 when they were on Luke Bryan’s Dirt Road Diary tour. By the time I gained the courage to ask my dad if I could get tickets, they were sold out. God bless him and his sweet spot deep down because he saw that I was upset and bought five VIP tickets to the show at Toyota Amphitheater in Northern California so he, my mom, my two older siblings, and myself could go. Now let me be clear, I love Luke Bryan, but the whole time we were watching Luke Bryan at the VIP show before the real show, I was freaking out because I didn’t want to miss seeing Florida Georgia Line open. While I was still in the tent I heard it- FGL singing live. I didn’t say a word to my family, I just ran out. The first second I saw them I was in awe. My favorite band int he entire world was singing right in front of me. The duo I heard on YouTube the previous summer was performing in my vicinity. It was unreal. My mom caught up with me and we stood there together with our jaws dropped because it was so surreal. They must have said thank you to the people there early enough to see their set about 100 times. It was incredible.
My mom is an absolute angel because the next Florida Georgia Line concert I was able to go to was all thanks to her. She bought me a VIP ticket to their Anything Goes tour on February 25, 2015. I also somehow was lucky enough to win meet and greets. By the time we got to Madison Square Garden I was shaking. Not only did I get to see their VIP show and regular show, but I got to meet the guys that had played such an important role in my life. During their VIP show, they continuously thanked the fans for spending their hard earned money just to see them perform. Even though they sold out Madison Square Garden, they were still as humble as they were as openers for Luke Bryan. Meeting them afterwards was truly a dream come true. They were so nice even though it was clear I was in such shock that I couldn’t speak. I told them that I was able to meet their ladies before and they both immediately smiled, like they knew that was a special experience because of how great they are. They let me hug them then I was sent on my way so everyone else had their chance. As I expected, they put on a phenomenal show that night. It was a priceless experience.
I have seen them multiple times after this and every single time I am taken aback. Their story is amazing and they have managed to stay true to themselves throughout their journey. They have grown immensely as people and artists and I’m grateful that I was able to be there from the beginning. I can’t wait for their future music and to see how they will continue to evolve as artists. I hope this post helped explain just how special they are to me and how they won me over. I also hope you get an idea of what exceptional performers they are. Stay tuned for part 2!