The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will explore Florida Georgia Line‘s music and career with a new exhibit, Florida Georgia Line: Mix It Up Strong, opening Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 and running through Jan. 1, 2023. The exhibit will trace FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley‘s collaboration and friendship, from their meeting in college to their becoming a multiple-award-winning country duo.
Florida Georgia Line burst onto the country music charts in 2012 with their first single, “Cruise,” a song that would become a record-breaking No. 1 country hit. “Cruise” earned Diamond certification from the RIAA, becoming the first country single to attain sales and streams equivalent to 10 million units. They went on to earn a second Diamond-certified single with “Meant to Be,” a 2017 collaboration with pop singer Bebe Rexha.
“Florida Georgia Line expanded the country music audience and created some of the most popular recordings in the genre’s history by embracing hip-hop and rock influences,” says museum CEO Kyle Young. “In less than a decade, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have had twenty-five singles reach gold, platinum or multi-platinum status, with two of those singles–‘Cruise’ and ‘Meant to Be’–reaching the elite plateau of Diamond sales certification. Very few artists in any genre accomplish that feat even once. The museum looks forward to exploring the duo’s distinctive music and career in this special exhibit.”
Hubbard (a Georgia native) and Kelley (from Florida) met on campus at Belmont University in Nashville, and began a friendship with their shared an interest in music. In 2011, Big Loud began handling their artist development, publishing, management and record production. Producer Joey Moi, a partner at the company, helped to develop the FGL sound, incorporating elements similar to the popular recordings he produced for rock band Nickelback.
The following year, the duo signed a record deal with Republic Nashville/Big Machine Records and released the album Here’s To The Good Times. Since then, the duo has received multiple honors from ACM, AMA, Billboard, CMA, MusicRow and CMT Music Awards, among many other career achievements.
The duo’s success extends to songwriting and music business ventures, as well. Hubbard and Kelley wrote many of FGL’s best-known songs and have also penned hits for other artists, including Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” and Cole Swindell’s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.” They also launched their own label (Round Here Records) and song publishing firm (Tree Vibez Music), signing Corey Crowder, RaeLynn and Canaan Smith, among others.
The Florida Georgia Line: Mix It Up Strong exhibit will include instruments, awards, stage and screen costumes and personal artifacts. Some highlights include:
- A serape Kelley wore in Florida Georgia Line’s 2016 music video for “H.O.L.Y.”
- The Selmer Bundy II saxophone Hubbard played as a child
- Hubbard’s Alvarez AD-60SC guitar, which he customized and played early in the duo’s career
- A diamond certification award from the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) for “Cruise”
- A note from Hubbard’s high school classmates and teachers wishing him luck with his music career in Nashville
- A ball cap Kelley wore when playing on his high school baseball team, the Seabreeze Fighting Sandcrabs
- Kelley’s Takamine GB7C Garth Brooks Signature acoustic guitar, which Kelley used when writing “Cruise” and other hits
- Racing suits and helmets Hubbard and Kelley wore in the 2016 music video for “May We All” (feat. Tim McGraw)
- Ensembles worn by the duo on the cover of their 2019 album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country
- Hubbard’s first guitar, a Sigma DM-3 acoustic guitar, which he acquired in fourth grade
“I still remember being at the Country Q studio with BK recording ‘Cruise,’ and having this feeling like we had created something special,” shares Hubbard. “And I’ll never forget when BK said, ‘We’re gonna sell a million copies of this song.’ I thought he was shooting for the stars then! Neither of us had any idea what would happen next. To be chosen for an exhibit is the ultimate honor as an artist, and we can’t thank the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum enough. I can’t wait for opening day, when we can stand back and take in this blessing with everyone that’s supported us along the way.”
“When Tyler and I decided to go all-in and see where FGL would take us, we lived by two mottos,” adds Kelley. “The first being, ‘Anywhere that would let us play our songs–didn’t matter if it was a bar, coffee shop, club or if the crowd was 10 people or 50 people–we would go just to be able to perform.’ And, the second, ‘Shake a million hands, to make a million fans.’ Fast-forward to today, and all that has happened over the past 11 years. It’s truly mind-blowing. We are both dreamers and always striving to go big. To have the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum now feature our wild ride is surreal and humbling. I couldn’t be more excited about this exhibit and to be able to relive each step of our journey. Here’s to the good times!”
In support of the exhibition’s opening, Hubbard and Kelley will participate in a conversation and performance in the museum’s CMA Theater on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, at 2 p.m., discussing their career and sharing personal stories and memories associated with the artifacts included in Florida Georgia Line: Mix It Up Strong. Tickets will be available at CountryMusicHallofFame.org on Friday, Dec. 10.
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