How Brian Kelley Responded To Tyler Hubbard's Interview About FGL's Breakup

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Brian Kelley appeared on an impromptu episode of Bussin’ With The Boys to respond to some of the statements made by former Florida Georgia Line bandmate Tyler Hubbard.

Hubbard appeared on the show earlier this week. Host Taylor Lewan explained that the “emergency podcast” episode took place because Kelley heard the conversation featuring Hubbard, which premiered on Tuesday (May 7), and quickly called Lewan to share his side of the story. During the podcast episode earlier this week, Hubbard spoke about why he and Kelley opted to pursue solo careers after rising to fame as a duo, including saying that the decision to go solo “was really unexpected,” and “felt like a divorce.” The podcast interviews also arrive as the former duo confirmed that their Nashville bar, FGL House, has closed.

“Obviously, there were things about that podcast that you didn’t believe to be the truth, and that you said you’ve been quiet for a long time, and you’d love the opportunity to say your side of the story, which that’s what Bussin’ With The Boys is all about,” Lewan said at the beginning of the podcast that premiered on Thursday (May 9) (warning: language). “You also said on that podcast that I said some things about you that were disrespectful. To me, I immediately, once we hung up the phone — first thing I did was call [co-host Will Compton] — second thing I did was get on the Youtube and start watching that clip.” Lewan replayed a clip from Hubbard’s interview, and explained to Kelley that he spoke from a lens of his own relationship with Compton. “I want you to know that Bussin’ With The Boys is not here to ever attack you or attack anybody. My opinions, WIll’s opinion is never going to be made by what other people say about people. It’s going to be about the interactions that we have with people that’s gonna dictate how we feel about them.”

With that, Kelley began to “clarify things” related to FGL’s split. He admitted he was “a little taken aback,” listening to his former duo partner’s interview. “I wouldn’t even call it a beef thing. I don’t think this is really a beef situation. But I do think it’s important to speak my truth, and you know, at the same time, stand up for myself because it’s not just him that was FGL. There’s two of us, and that’s what made it so special.”

Kelley said it was important to “continue to honor my craft, my artistry, my songwriting.” He had “voiced that for a long time,” and envisioned an opportunity to create solo projects in addition to remaining in Florida Georgia Line at the time the duo released their fifth album. “To have another trailblazing idea, my idea was, ‘hey, let’s keep everything going and let’s do a three-hour set. No openers. Let’s do solo songs, let’s do FGL songs, and be under the same umbrella and nothing changes.’ So, watching the episode yesterday, just so casual, you know, he wanted to do FGL, too. I wanted to do it all. I didn’t think that was out of bounds. When you look at Lady A, you know, Hillary [Scott] does some solo records in the Christian space. Charles Kelley has done some solo stuff, he does some shows, and I love how that operates. I think that’s pretty special that you can honor yourself and you can honor what you’ve built and continue forward. …I’d word it was, I wanted a solo outlet as a creative, as a songwriter. I wanted to reshape that part of the story for you guys because I put a lot of thought into what that could look like.”

Kelley said he never wanted to “downplay” the achievements of Florida Georgia Line, and called it “a great brotherhood.” He walked through the timeline of the duo parting ways, including when he and Hubbard each began to release solo music. Kelley said issues in the public eye started in 2020. “He and his wife had unfollowed us… He said, you know, ‘BK was posting some stuff, some political stuff, and I didn’t wanna see it.’ And he told me he liked me better in person, not online. That caught me off guard as well, for my brother to have those thoughts and feelings. …I grew up in a world where, my dad was in politics for 20 years…and I watched him move and progress (the) city, counties, along with different-minded people, and that’s what makes America great. People that see things differently, but can still get it done at the end of the day. That’s my mindset. That’s how I approached it. So, for me and my family, it wasn’t political. We didn’t unfollow anybody. I was ready to go to work.

“I fought the good fight to keep FGL going,” Kelley said later. “I don’t know if there was a breaking point, per se. This part is true. He said that was his boundary, and if he thought it was best to support me by cutting off something that I put my life into as well, that’s one way to support somebody. I didn’t agree with it.”

When asked whether both members of the former duo would appear on the podcast together, Kelley responded doubtfully. To a Florida Georgia Line reunion, however, he said “you never know, man. …I think time will tell, you know? I’m really focused on what I’m doing now. I know he’s really focused… we’ll have to see, man. I’m sure the fans would like it. I’m sure the fans would love that.”

The Bussin’ With The Boys “emergency” episode arrives one day before Kelley releases his next solo album, Tennessee Truth. The 12-track collection includes “Kiss My Boots,” — a “betrayal” song that Kelley told Lewan and Compton is “about a lot of people” — “How We’re Livin’,” “Trucks, Ducks, Bucks & Beer,” "See You Next Summer” and more. Earlier this year, Kelley delivered the debut live performance of “Kiss My Boots” and the unreleased first track on the album, “Acres,” at the 2024 Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Kelley plans to mark Tennessee Truth’s debut with a free album release event at Barstool Nashville on Friday, May 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m.