Brian Kelley Reveals Feelings Of 'Betrayal': 'I Poured My Whole Heart Out'

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Brian Kelley revealed the long-awaited release date of his full-length solo album as he premiered the music video for his next radio single, “Kiss My Boots,” an anthem he said he wrote “purely to heal” after a betrayal.

Kelley said “Kiss My Boots” was “a surprise” when he and his co-writers brought the song to life. The Ormond Beach, Florida-born singer-songwriter shared the story behind “Kiss My Boots,” reflecting on the day he and the other writers exchanged ideas with “nothing really sticking.” After a short break, the group began working with the line “’comes out with the whiskey, comes out in the whiskey,’ and that struck a chord with me,” Kelley said. “I remember getting to the end of a chorus and we didn’t have a hook, and I just knew it needed some emotion. I knew it needed some attitude, and to kind of channel a little Hank (Williams) Jr. I just remember landing myself, I was singing it out, going, ‘I can’t help but tell that Tennessee truth, I’m cranking Hank, drinking Jack, I’m cranking Hank, drinking Jack, and you can kiss my boots.’

“I was really excited when I landed on that,” he said. “When I threw that out, I thought it was perfect and it was exactly how I wanted to represent what I was feeling (and) what I’ve been feeling. ‘Kiss My Boots’ is a song about a relationship. It’s a song about betrayal, and it’s a song about, you know, for me, getting my power back and saying how I feel, saying what I think and owning that in a song.”

Kelley delivered a live performance of “Kiss My Boots” on Friday (March 1) at the 2024 Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee (along with another unreleased track, “Acres”). He’d been teasing the unreleased single on his social media channels, and on Wednesday (March 6), he released it and premiered the Ben Christensen-directed music video. when Kelley announced the music video’s release, he revealed that his full-length album, Tennessee Truth — a reference to a lyric in “Kiss My Boots” — will arrive on May 10. See the full track list here:

  1. “Acres”
  2. “How We’re Livin’”  
  3. “King Ranch”  
  4. “Trucks, Ducks, Bucks & Beer”  
  5. “Goin’ Places”  
  6. “Barefeet Or Boots”  
  7. “Dirt Road Date Night”  
  8. “10 O’Clock On The Dock”  
  9. "See You Next Summer”  
  10. “Doin’ Nothin’”  
  11. “Dirt Cheap”  
  12. “Kiss My Boots” 

“I’ve learned so much about songwriting over this record cycle, and ‘Kiss My Boots’ is another example of just continuing to show up,” Kelley said. “You never know what you’re gonna get. You never know what idea you’re gonna land on. And as a songwriter, as an artist, you always want to put your truth into songs. You always want to leave a little bit of yourself and as much of yourself in these songs, and that’s what I did. I poured my whole heart out and left it right there on the table.

“I was lucky enough to tour with Taylor Swift back in 2013 for five shows, and really learned a lot, tried to soak up as much as I could, and I loved — she just puts everything in her songs, what she’s going through, what she’s been through, who she is,” he continued. “And I’ve always done that as a songwriter, as an artist, as a musician, and through the highs and lows of life and going through a really tough situation over the past couple years. This was no different. I wanted to pour my heart out, put it in a song and just be real because that’s what country music is. I’ve got this tattoo…it says ‘music is healing.’ I think I got it right at the end of 2012. I mean it. I love music. Music has changed my life as a fan, as an artist, as a songwriter. Music has helped me in more ways than people could probably imagine. it’s helped me on my worst days, it’s helped me on my best days, and everything in between. it’s what I always lean on to get me through my days.”

“Kiss My Boots” follows some of Kelley’s previously-released singles, including his hit summer anthem “See You Next Summer,” “Florida Strong,” “American Spirit” and more. Tennessee Truth will follow Kelley’s 17-track collection that released in June 2021, Sunshine State Of Mind. The country hitmaker admitted he was “surprised” when his team selected “Kiss My Boots” as his next single, saying he “had no intentions” of that and “wrote it to heal.”

Kelley’s team told him, “’hey man, you know, this is a song that can help a lot of people. So many people can relate to this song. So many people have gone through relationships that have been betrayed and gone through tough times, and this is a song that has a universal message,’” Kelley recalled. “I’m really, really grateful for all the support from my whole team. And I’m really excited for everybody to find their Tennessee truth in this song.”

Watch Kelley’s “Kiss My Boots” music video here: