Brian Kelley Says He Didn’t Want Florida Georgia Line To Break Up, Was “Shocked” When Tyler Hubbard Recorded Song With Tim McGraw

Florida Georgia Line
mike jmklear

Telling his side of the story.

Florida Georgia Line brought their reign of terror over country music to an end back in 2022, when it was announced that the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley would be going their separate ways to pursue solo careers.

There was a lot of speculation that the duo split due to political differences between the two after Hubbard unfollowed Kelley on social media during the 2020 election. (Hubbard and his wife Hayley supported Joe Biden, while Kelley and his wife Brittney supported Donald Trump). But since the split, they never really discussed what led to the breakup, and all we could do was speculate – until Hubbard decided to open up earlier this week.

It was already clear that there was some bad blood between the two, after Kelley recently released his latest single, “Kiss My Boots,” that seemed to be a shot at Hubbard with some cryptic messages on social media that sounded a lot like a high school girl trying to prove that she was over her ex.

But Hubbard, the “Georgia” half of FGL, made an appearance on the Barstool Sports podcast Bussin’ With the Boys featuring Will Compton and Taylor Lewan, where he confirmed that he doesn’t speak much with his former bandmate these days – saying that the split caught him by surprise:

“For me it was really unexpected. But BK came to me and said, ‘Man I’m really feeling like I want to do a solo thing.’”

He also revealed that he tried to talk Kelley out of it, with the duo even going to therapy together to try to work through their issues. But turns out Kelley was adamant about it, though he still wanted to keep Florida Georgia Line together. Hubbard wasn’t going to do that though, and basically gave him an ultimatum: It was either FGL or solo, but not both.

“I don’t have capacity to do two careers. And also it’s going to get super sticky. When we’re writing songs, who are we writing for? When we got two show offers, an FGL date and a solo date, what are we taking?

I’m like, I don’t even logistically see how that would work, much less emotionally.”

Well, apparently his comments didn’t sit well with Kelley.

The “Florida” half of the duo wanted to tell his side of the story too, so in an emergency podcast, he also joined Compton and Lewan where he refuted Hubbard’s side of things…sort of.

I say sort of because honestly it sounds like he was just confirming a lot of what Hubbard had said. He wanted to release solo music, Hubbard didn’t see how it would work if they tried to have solo careers while also being a duo, and they ended up splitting.

So where does the disagreement come in?

Kelley says that there had been talks about doing solo music as far back as 2016, but that the two had agreed that they would wait until the end of their contract, and after the release of FGL’s fifth album, before pursuing these other avenues.

Well it turns out that, although Hubbard said he didn’t want them to pursue solo careers apart from FGL, he had actually gone behind Kelley’s back and recorded a song with Tim McGraw amidst the social unrest of 2020 – and when he told Kelley about the song, he also informed him that they would be performing it at Biden’s inauguration.

“Tyler had solo music out before I even did. Before we even got our fifth album out, he had released a couple songs, he had played Biden’s inauguration which was a huge look to be a solo act with Tim McGraw. He released another song. I didn’t start releasing music ’til April…

He was rockin’ at radio immediately, top of January of 2021 and I didn’t get music out ’til April and then the album in June.”

And Kelley says he was blindsided by Hubbard’s decision to make the first step to go solo with “Undivided,” the duet with Tim McGraw:

“Surprised. Shocked for sure. I thought we had a deal about what the plan was.

Going back to my main thing, is protecting FGL. I didn’t think that was a good look, if I’d have done it or if he did it.”

He also says that he tried to present Hubbard with a plan to keep FGL going while also pursuing their own solo careers, where they would both be signed to the same label with the same management and play 3-hour concerts featuring not only FGL but also give each of them some time to play their solo music. But Hubbard wasn’t having it – despite the fact that he had also released solo music.

Kelley talks a lot about what was going on at the time while not really saying much of anything. He does also touch on the political disagreements, but when asked whether “Kiss My Boots” was about Hubbard he wouldn’t answer. Like, come on dude, it’s clearly about him, stand by it if you mean it.

But it sounds like it all boils down to Hubbard insisting that they hold off on pursuing solo careers until after the final FGL album came out and then going behind Kelley’s back and doing it anyway – then blaming Kelley for being the one who wanted to go solo.

Regardless, one thing they can both agree on is that FGL isn’t going to be reuniting any time soon.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock