Remember what you were doing at 29 and 27 years old?
Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are leading the music category of Forbes magazine’s prestigious 30 Under 30 list, which comprises the biggest, brightest, most successful and top-earning artists across all formats of music that haven’t reached that decade in their lives just yet. The list includes one other country artist — Kacey Musgraves.
Even though my 29-year-old self does feel the teeniest pang of jealousy at the news — seeing as how my great accomplishment at 29 was learning to replace the windshield wiper fluid in my Jeep all by myself — I honestly feel excitement for them above all else. After all, they’ve truly worked hard for this moment.
Kelley, 29, and Hubbard, 27, told Forbes the familiar story about meeting at Nashville’s Belmont University and that it was their mutual love of country rock and rap music that brought them together.
Hubbard says he and Kelley “hit it off right away and started writing songs” and goes on to explain what was going through their minds in 2009 when they were preparing for graduation.
“We didn’t exactly know what we wanted to do, but we knew we wanted to give this music thing a shot and travel the country in Brian’s Tahoe,” Hubbard recalls. “And we had my enclosed trailer, and we just hit the road and tried to figure it out. We went out there and tried to make as many fans as possible. And one thing led to the next, and here we are.”
Yep, I’d say they figured it out.
According to the magazine, the boys earned $24 million last year, which is no surprise seeing as how their big single “Cruise” sold 8 million copies and is the most-downloaded country song ever. Also not hurting the duo is the smash-success of their newest album, Anything Goes, which sold nearly 200,000 copies its debut week.
That’s something to toast. So raise up that ubiquitous shot of Fireball whiskey they love so dearly and take one for the team that just won’t quit until they’re on top.