Tyler Hubbard Opens Up About FGL Split: 'Honestly It Felt Like A Divorce'

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Tyler Hubbard spoke about why he and former duo partner Brian Kelley opted to go solo after building their careers as Florida Georgia Line for more than a decade.

Hubbard appeared on the latest episode of Bussin’ With The Boys. The podcast episode (warning: language) was recorded in March, and premiered on Tuesday (May 7). Throughout the conversation, the Georgia-born singer-songwriter spoke about making big breaks with Kelley and enduring the ups and downs along the way. Hubbard said it’s been “the wildest ride. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade anything. I wouldn’t change anything. It was just incredible, but it really kind of set me up for what we’re doing now.

“For me, it was really unexpected,” Hubbard replied when asked why the duo opted to go solo. “BK came to me and said ‘man, I’m really feeling like I wanna do a solo thing. And I’m like, ‘really?’ I’m like, we were just getting out of our first deal. We were kind of in a sweet spot that we had worked 10 years to get to, and I’m like ‘bro, why don’t we just ride this thing out for like five more years? Ten more years? And then we can do the solo thing or whatever.’ But again, I wanted to support him. He was adamant, like, ‘no, now’s my time. I really need to do this for myself.’ And I’m like ‘well, hey, whatever you need to do, bro. What do you want from me?’ He’s like, ‘I just want support,’ so I’m like, ‘alright, you got it, bro.’ We’ve had an incredible ride. This is where it’s going to go. Let’s do it, and crush it, and you never know. Maybe it’ll bring us back together and we can have a reunion tour or whatever. But he definitely initiated the whole thing from the beginning and it kind of — when I say ‘caught me off guard,’ it wasn’t that we had never mentioned it before. It was just one of things where I didn’t think it was going to happen then.”

Hubbard said it was “the right time” for Kelley to pursue a solo career, and he considered remaining in Nashville as a songwriter. he said it was “just sort of timing and life in general just sort of led us in that direction, and something that now I’m really grateful for. It’s been a lot of fun rebuilding. ...it’s incredible doing something with your friend and having a partner, but taking the dynamics back to the basics of me getting to be the leader that I’d like to be, and getting to do it on my own, and getting to kind of build culture around the type of culture that I want to build.” Hubbard noted that he and Kelley were in their early 20s when they started Florida Gerogia Line, “young, dumb and on a mission,” and now they can rebuild with “maturity” and “gratitude.”

During the podcast, Hubbard shared that he and Kelley had vulnerable conversations with one another as they talked about whether to continue Florida Georgia Line. He said “honestly, it felt like a divorce,” and compared the idea of staying in the duo while simultaneously going solo to a marriage, but “you wanna go sleep with the neighbors and come home at night and me be cool with it. …I can’t do both.”

Hubbard said he insisted that either the duo deserved 100% effort or Kelley deserved 100% effort, rather than splitting his focus 50-50. He “gave him the choice and chose to go do the solo thing,” and there were “definitely some weeks of healing, I would say.”

Hubbard and Kelley announced in February 2022 that they were “taking a break” as a duo. They confirmed on Monday evening (May 6) that their bar in Downtown Nashville, FGL House, has closed after several years of operating. They’ve since pursued their own solo projects, including Hubbard’s sophomore solo album, Strong, which released last month. Kelley is due to release his album, Tennessee Truth, on Friday (May 10). The 12-track collection will include a few previously-released songs, including “Trucks, Ducks, Bucks & Beer,” “See You Next Summer” and “Kiss My Boots.”

Watch a clip from Hubbard's Bussin’ With The Boys conversation here (warning: language).