Florida Georgia Line Confirm They’re ‘Taking a Break’ After 10 Years
Florida Georgia Line have not officially broken up, but they are "taking a break." The superstar duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley confirmed the news for the first time publicly in an interview with People during the opening of their new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Sunday night (Feb. 6).
"I think 'taking a break' is the proper term, as opposed to breaking up," Hubbard tells People after a year in which both he and Kelley have released solo work. 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 has an upcoming solo tour on the books.
"We're not going our separate ways," Kelley adds. "We're taking a break from recording our music. We're being artists. We love creating. And so a couple years back, we started writing without each other and trying different writers, and now we're both doing that with our music."
The news comes five months after rumors of Florida Georgia Line's breakup started to spread via social media, when two backing band members posted farewell photos. Guitarist Dan Weller and keyboard player Aaron Farmer both shared pictures with a tribute to their time with the duo in September of 2021.
"This may not have been the intended ending, but I can wholeheartedly say I’m genuinely grateful for the friends and many memories I’ve made along the way, and I hope we cross paths again," Farmer wrote.
Added Weller, "This group will never be again. So much love to my touring family of the past many years. Thank you to you all."
Right around that time, Hubbard and Kelley updated their Instagram pages, which no longer identified them as members of Florida Georgia Line.
Since co-writing and releasing "Cruise" in 2012, Florida Georgia Line have enjoyed historic success. Their debut single became the first country song to be certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Five years later, they'd join Bebe Rexha for another Diamond-certified song in "Meant to Be," which Hubbard also helped write. From 2012 to 2017 the country duo enjoyed a tremendous run of radio and commercial success, with nearly a dozen chart-topping singles on Billboard's Airplay chart and an unbroken string of Platinum songs until "Smooth," the fourth and final single from their third album, Dig Your Roots.
In total, Florida Georgia Line have released five albums and charted 26 songs on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, 16 of which reached No. 1. The success did not come without controversy, however — songs from the Here's to the Good Times album (2012) epitomized what many called "bro-country." Their party vibes and willingness to freely integrate hip-hop and R&B music into their brand of country music made them a lightning rod for criticism of the genre. Collaborations with pop artists including Nelly, Bebe Rexha and the Backstreet Boys were far more common than collaborations with country contemporaries and legends, although a duet with Tim McGraw titled "May We All" stands out as an example of the latter.
Hubbard and Kelley met at Belmont University in the late '00s and moved in together, taking odd jobs to allow themselves room to play clubs on weekends. For several years they gigged in bars and clubs nationwide — country duo LoCash once told Taste of Country they recalled a still-raw FGL opening for them around that time. The Country Throwdown Tour in 2012 proved to be a monumental first chance to get in front of large audiences, as "Cruise" had begun to bubble as a hot song on satellite radio. By mid-summer, it had charted as an independent song, but Big Machine Music Group quickly took notice, signing the duo to a record deal that July as the song shot to No. 1.
Hubbard and Kelley went from unknown opening acts to true headliners in a matter of months. Their longtime partnership with producer Joey Moi was forged on that early music. His rock background amplified what Hubbard and Kelley had going for them.
As important as "Cruise" was to their success, "Dirt" (the lead single from their second album Anything Goes) solidified them as songwriters capable of a range of subjects and emotions. "H.O.L.Y" and "Simple" are two more that showcased their songwriting talents prominently, and that was not lost on the country music industry at large. Within just a few years the two men had become in-demand songwriters for country music's biggest stars and mentors to up-and-comers including Morgan Wallen and Hardy. The formation of Round Here Records in 2019 showed their continued interest in helping newcomers or artists in need of advice and a lift. RaeLynn and Canaan Smith are on that label.
Signs of the two men going their separate ways began to surface as the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, although as recently as January of 2021, FGL insisted a breakup was not imminent. In the fall of 2020, they admitted to the Tennessean that politics had caused a clash between them, but assured fans their union was strong. However, greater emphasis was placed on Kelley's first solo album than the duo's own Life Rolls On album, released in February of 2021.
On Aug. 20, Florida Georgia Line announced that their 2021 I Love My Country Tour was canceled, citing COVID-19 concerns. The pair's official touring calendar currently lists a handful of festival dates between April and August, leaving the duo's future unclear after that.
"We're sort of using these last 12 shows as a time to celebrate FGL, celebrate the fans, celebrate each other," Hubbard tells People, "and then support each other on the next chapter of our musical and creative journey, which is gonna be individually for a while. So we're excited."