Florida Georgia who?

Flashback to the end of summer and the beginning of fall of 2012 – what was the song that took over the radio for months that no one could quit singing?

If you are thinking of the song “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, you would be correct.

Well, this is one of the biggest celebrity encounters I could kick myself in the butt about over and over. It was June of 2012 and not a soul had ever heard of Florida Georgia Line before.

A lot of people know about the Ryman Auditorium because it is right in the middle of downtown Nashville, Tenn., but what a lot of people do not know about is the alley on the side that leads directly backstage.

One night during the CMA Music Festival my friends and I were just strolling through the streets downtown and saw a big crowd of people over by the stage door and decided to go see what the fuss was about.

Most of the people were surrounding upcoming country star Chase Rice, but my friends and I were not too interested in him.

That was when we saw a few other people talking to these two tall guys off to the side of the alley. We decided to go over and see if they were anyone to get excited over.

When we walked up the two men introduced themselves as Brian (Kelley) and Tyler (Hubbard) and told us about their newly signed band Florida Georgia Line.

At CMA Fest meeting people on the street who are “newly signed” or “just releasing a single” are a dime a dozen, so taking them seriously is not something you do often. Well, this time we were very, very wrong.

The two guys proceeded to tell us about being signed to Big Machine Records and asked us to listen for their first single “Cruise” which was being released to country radio.

After that we all went our separate ways, no autographs or pictures or anything.

Who would have thought those random guys we met in an alley in Nashville would turn into the platinum selling superstars they are now? Boy, were we kicking ourselves about that for the next few months.


Story by Breanna Sill, Assistant Features Editor