Florida Georgia Line opens up about The Dirt Campaign and partying for a cause
You know Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard as the fellas of Florida Georgia Line, the hot country duo who quickly catapulted to country music superstardom following the release of their now two times Platinum-certified debut album, Here's to the Good Times.
Thanks to megahits like "Stay," "Get Your Shine On," "Round Here" and "Cruise" — which all spent time at the top of the charts — FGL has sold more than 15.7 million tracks worldwide.
What you may not know (and you might have been curious about) is that these guys are every bit as nice as they are talented. Inspired by the success of their first album and the attention their newest No. 1, "Dirt," is already getting, Kelley and Hubbard came up with a novel idea.
On how "Dirt" inspired them to help others
"When Tyler and I heard this song, we were blown away," Kelley explained. "We've always said from day one we want to be bigger than the music. The original idea was, 'Hey, let's buy somebody a house!'"
They decided to name the initiative The Dirt Campaign. Soon, they partnered with Omaze and Habitat for Humanity, and that original idea evolved from buying one person a house to helping build affordable housing that benefits multiple low-income families.
"It's just a really cool opportunity for us and our fans to be interactive, get involved and raise a lot of money for a lot of great people who need it. Tyler and I were very blessed to each be able to buy our first houses last year, and that was really a cool step for us both individually," elaborated Kelley, pointing out how fortunate they both feel.
On the importance of having a sense of place
"We've lived in basically frat houses with a whole bunch of other roommates and band members the past years and years," Kelley said, "so to have houses means a lot to us, and we know that."
Since meeting as students at Belmont University, Kelley and Hubbard's sense of place has shifted over time with their experiences. Though Nashville will always be home — the place they go to "recharge" — FGL admits that they're also pretty fond of their second home: the road.
"Being out on the road... there's nothin' like it," Kelley confided. "It feels like we're just out here, a band of brothers with our girls and our guitars just working our butts off trying to make great music for amazing fans."
Speaking of girls, it's no secret that there's only one lady in Kelley's life. He married Brittney Marie Cole at the end of last year. Accordingly, his perception of home these days has an added dimension.
"You know, I feel a little more settled. I think it makes it easier actually on the road now that we have a house and we're married," he revealed. "She's so supportive of me and Tyler and what we do and what I do. It's just awesome. It feels complete."
Of course, that doesn't mean FGL's trademark, ahem, enthusiasm is going anywhere.
"People ask, 'Well, what's it like if they're at the party?' Oh, I can tell you the party don't stop for FGL!" Kelley laughed.
On their upcoming party cruise
Which is something people who contribute to The Dirt Campaign might be interested to know, as one lucky donor will win an epic prize package that includes boarding a four-day FGL party cruise come November.
"That's right — you can win a trip," Kelley shared, "and whoever wins, right when we get on board, we're going to have them to our room or we're going to go to their room and we're going to play 'Dirt' acoustic just for them."
Then (as if that wasn't enough) the winner will set sail with the guys and thousands of other superfans and FGL celebrity buddies for four days of sun and fun, during which time the lucky winner can expect plenty of live music, bar hopping, pool parties and more.
"It's gonna be a nonstop party. The energy is going to be just insane. It's something that we've been dreaming up and dreaming of for a long time," Kelley said of the cruise, which they're hoping to make an annual event.
So what will a day in the life on this FGL cruise be like?
"I'd be willing to bet that it's wake up between 10 or 11, try to get some brunch, go get some sun, start havin' a little drink," explained Kelley, "and there's a ton of activities. It's crazy what they're going to do on this ship. It's gonna be incredible."
Entries to win the one-of-a-kind prize package are based on donations. Plus, every entry benefits Habitat for Humanity, for whom the guys are hoping to raise at least $100,000.
Said Kelley, "We're really excited about helping people. That's what it's all about."