Florida-Georgia Line to head county fair

Published 12:36 pm Monday, July 29, 2013

Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelly are Florida Georgia Line. They'll perform at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 16.

Tyler Hubbard, left, and Brian Kelly are Florida Georgia Line. They’ll perform at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 16.

COURTLAND—If Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard had his way, everyone who lives in Southampton County and people from miles around would be in attendance when the country music duo plays the fair at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

“Man, I would just say ‘Show up,’” Hubbard said. “We’re excited about seeing our fans. Our fans never cease to amaze us.

“We’ll bring the party and show you a good time.”

The duo’s successful ride is a recent one, starting when they released their first single, “Cruise,” which has dominated the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart for 19 straight weeks.

With that success, also came the tours with artists such as Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan. In the fall they will be starting their own headlining tour, “Here’s to the Good Times,” which is also the name of their debut album.

“It has been a fast ride, but we are loving it,” Hubbard said. “A lot of these shows are totally booked, and were booked six to eight months ago. It has been really cool.”

When they met in 2009 at Belmont University in Nashville, the men were playing small clubs between classes.

Of his musical partner Brian Kelly, Hubbard said it is great to work with him.

“We’ve been best friends for years,” Hubbard said. “We lived together in a house in school, and we live together on a bus now. It is cool to do this with your best friend.”

While in college, they knew that they enjoyed writing songs together, but they did not know then that it would one day become how they make their living.

“We graduated from college and said, ‘Lets travel around, play, and just see what happens,’” Hubbard said. “One day, we were eating at McDonalds, talking about our career. We said let’s check out this music thing for a couple of years, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll do something else, but if it does, great.”

Sure enough, it did work out, Hubbard said. But he did not expect it to work out as fast as it did.

“We have been really blessed,” he said. “We’ve just been working really hard, and hopefully we can do this for a long time.”

Between now and the college days, there is one huge difference, Hubbard said.

“Well, people know us now,” he said. “People show up from all over the country, and the energy is through the roof. People know the words to every single song.

“It is unbelievable.”

The name Florida Georgia Line comes from the fact that Hubbard is from Monroe, Ga., while Kelly is from Ormond Beach, Fla. Their debut album earned the highest sales for any new Country artist in 2012. It also recently scored the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart.

Their second single, “Get Your Shine On,” also reached number one on the country charts for multiple weeks.

Along with success on the charts came success in award shows, as the duo scored two 2013 CMT Music Award wins for Duo Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year.

As far as the small town county fairs, Hubbard said those are cool too.

“We play in these towns, and maybe 2,000 people live there, but 10,000 people show up,” he said. “It is cool to see the way people are reacting.”