Brian Kelley Seemingly Calls Out Ex FGL Bandmate Tyler Hubbard on New Song 'Kiss My Boots': 'Middle Finger to You'

Tyler Hubbard, who last played a show with Kelley in 2022, told Holler he wishes his former bandmate "the best"

Brian Kelley is continuing his solo career with an apparent dig at former Florida Georgia Line bandmate Tyler Hubbard.

Kelley, 38, released the single “Kiss My Boots” on Wednesday, and fans quickly took note of the song’s pointed lyrics, which include lines about someone having wronged him and “throwin’ dirt” on his name.

“Want the world to know that you did me wrong/I don’t know how you act sweet, after how you did me/Here’s a middle finger to you through a song,” he sings on the track.

In the music video, Kelley also hunts a snake — often used to symbolize a dishonest person — and the closing shot is a close-up of his belt, which reads “Florida” (He was the “Florida” side of FGL, while Hubbard, 37, represented “Georgia”).

“It was healing to write. I feel released now. Everyone processes things differently. I went inward,” Kelley said in a press release statement. “I went to work and stayed busy. I’m proud of myself for doing it that way. It was worth it. Now I have a song that helped me through a tough time. Hopefully, ‘Kiss My Boots’ can help a lot of people. Give them some confidence and help them get their power back.”

Related: Brian Kelley on 10 Years of Marriage to Wife Brittney: 'She'd Love Me If I Was Managing a Blockbuster' (Exclusive)

John Shearer/Getty Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in Nashville in February 2021
John Shearer/Getty Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in Nashville in February 2021

The country star — who played his last show with Hubbard in 2022 after 12 years as a duo — previously teased “Kiss My Boots” on Instagram last week, writing in a caption that a mental health coach had advised him several years ago to “take the high road” amid an “extremely difficult, hurtful, and confusing time.”

“So as hard as it was in those moments to take the high road, I took her advice and I sat back and ‘ate my popcorn,’” he wrote. “Everyone processes differently. I went inward. And it came out in a song. Now it’s time for y’all to get your popcorn.”

The song comes off Kelley's forthcoming album Tennessee Truth, which is set for release on May 10.

<p>Courtesy Big Machine Records</p> Brian Kelley's Tennessee Truth album cover

Courtesy Big Machine Records

Brian Kelley's Tennessee Truth album cover

Hubbard, meanwhile, told Holler in response that he was too focused on his own career to pay any mind to rumored drama (He will release his second solo album Strong in April).

“Just like I’ve always said, I’m happy for BK, this is what he wanted and this is what he initiated, and I hope he’s happy and that he’s doing his thing and I’m doing my thing,” he told the outlet. “I wish him the best, and yeah, as far as that’s concerned that’s about all I have to say about it.”

<p>Ben Christensen</p> Brian Kelley

Ben Christensen

Brian Kelley

Related: Post-FGL, Tyler Hubbard Makes a Singular Splash with Debut Solo Album: 'I Have a Story and I Have a Voice'

Kelley and Hubbard first met through a campus worship group while attending Belmont University, and they founded Florida Georgia Line in 2010. The pair released their debut album in 2012, and went on to sell 4.6 million albums and notch 16 No. 1 singles. In September 2022, they performed their final show together as a duo.

The concert came amid rumored turbulence between Kelley and Hubbard, including a brief, politically tinged spat on social media in 2020, and a canceled tour in the fall of 2021.

John Shearer/Getty Images Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley in Nashville in February 2022
John Shearer/Getty Images Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley in Nashville in February 2022

Though Hubbard told PEOPLE in 2022 that FGL was “taking a break” as opposed to “breaking up,” he said last year that he and Kelley had “kind of grown apart,” though he was “still FGL.”

Kelley, meanwhile, told PEOPLE in the same interview that his bond with Hubbard would always be strong.

“When you live with somebody on the road and you go through everything, there's a connection," he said. "You don't lose that. You have history. We've built something that's way bigger than us — because of our fans, because of our team. And it'll always be."

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