Remember When Florida Georgia Line Signed Their First Record Deal?
Florida Georgia Line have become superstars, so it's hard to fathom that they only signed their first major label record deal in 2012.
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley met when they were both part of a worship group at Belmont University in 2008, but they didn't get serious about pursuing music aggressively until after they graduated in 2010. They moved in together and worked odd jobs while pursuing Florida Georgia Line, and they had a major breakthrough when they met Nickelback producer Joey Moi at a state fair and he took an interest in the duo.
Moi produced their first independent EP, 2010's Anything Like Me, and its follow up, It'z Just What We Do, in 2012. When "Cruise" took off on SiriusXM's the Highway and iTunes, the duo parlayed that into a deal with Republic Records and Big Machine Label Group, which they signed on July 16, 2012.
Their major label debut, Here's to the Good Times, dropped on Dec. 4 of that year and was an immediate smash, buoyed by the runaway success of "Cruise," which would go on to sell 10 million copies and become a multi-genre smash after FGL released a remix featuring rapper Nelly. The album launched other hits with "Get Your Shine On," 'Round Here" and "Stay."
FGL cemented their position with their second album, Anything Goes, in 2014, and took a turn in a more serious direction with their third album, Dig Your Roots, in 2016. Their Smooth Tour in support of that album put them out on the road with Chris Lane, Nelly and even some stadium dates with the Backstreet Boys.
The duo went on hiatus during the pandemic, and though they've released new music since, they canceled tour dates that were on the books. On Feb. 6, 2022, during the opening of their exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, they confirmed they were taking some time to focus on solo work, with no clear plans for FGL to continue.
"I think 'taking a break' is the proper term, as opposed to breaking up," Hubbard tells People.
Hubbard teamed with Tim McGraw in early 2021 for a duet titled "Undivided," while Kelley put out a solo project, Sunshine State of Mind, and booked a solo tour.
Hubbard has been teasing songs from his forthcoming solo album, including "5 Foot 9," "35's" and, most recently, a song of faith titled "Way Home." He is slated to join Keith Urban on the fall leg of Urban's The Speed of Now Tour.