Sure, the guys from Florida Georgia Line are piling up their earnings now. But back in the beginning, it wasn’t about money. Really.
“We weren’t running up and down Music Row trying to get a record deal,” Tyler Hubbard told Forbes magazine. “We just did whatever we knew. And that was to get in his (Brian Kelley’s) Tahoe and put a couple of guys around us and try to play shows. We just had the mentality of, ‘Let’s do it on our own. Let’s go play shows and make money and make music.’ Or attempt to make money.”
You know the rest of their story.
They played those shows and made that music. Eventually, that attempt at making money led to money, money and more money. Last year, the duo had $24 million in earnings.
According to Forbes, Kelley and Hubbard played 168 shows last year — more than any other country act the magazine measured. And those earnings put them in at No. 10 for the highest paid country artists. They are still behind Jason Aldean and his $37 million and Luke Bryan with his $34 million, but they are a smidge above Tim McGraw with his $23.5 million and Blake Shelton with his $23 million.
The magazine’s story says Florida Georgia Line’s kind of country is much more Aerosmith than George Strait. And while fans of Strait’s straight-up country may not like the sound of that, it sounds like Kelley just doesn’t want his band’s music to be inside some kind of definitive box.
“We just have a good time with our fans every night,” says Kelley. “We’re not really a big fan of labels. The only thing we put a label on is that FGL sound.”