By Brian Ives

Florida Georgia Line has just announced their next tour; this trek will feature up-and-coming country star Chris Lane and hip-hop/R&B artist Nelly on the bill. (See the dates below.) spoke to FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley about the upcoming tour, and their longstanding friendship with Nelly, who appeared on a remix of the group’s first single, “Cruise.”

“Yeah, we’re excited,” Hubbard enthuses. “Nelly’s an awesome friend and a great entertainer and a great guy to be on the road with and learn from, so we’re really excited to be back out with him and Chris Lane, one of our best friends, one of our favorite tour mates as well. Put those two guys together in the baseball stadium in the summer, it’s gonna be awesome. It’s gonna be a huge party, and we’re gonna give our fans something to remember, for sure.”

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While hooking up a country act and a hip-hop artist can come off as a bit stunt-y, FGL say that their friendship with Nelly is genuine, and they’ve toured together in the past as well. “I think from day one Nelly came in kind of like a mentor, like an uncle kind of figure and a really good friend,” Kelley says. “From day one it felt like somebody we’d grown up with and kinda already knew. It’s a relationship and a friendship where you don’t really have to try, you’re just kinda always talking and chatting. And he always takes the time to lift us up and encourage us and share stories with us, and he’s nothing but smiles. And he can get all ‘business’ on you and tell you the deal and give you some really good advice.”

“So at the heart of that, there’s a really good friendship. And we’ve done a lot of soundchecks together, we’ve done a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody really knows about. We’ve spent late hours, spent time traveling together, just waiting around together. And that’s where the true test of friendship is, man, in those moments where you’re not working.”

In an era where the country seems totally divided over politics, there’s something to be learned from the bond that these southern country boys share with the St. Louis rapper. “There’s a lot to learn from all kinds of people,” Hubbard says. “And I think that’s the beautiful thing about it. If we hung out with the people who did exactly what we do, we wouldn’t be really going anywhere. So it’s fun to learn from everybody from the Backstreet Boys to Nelly to Alabama to Garth Brooks and everybody else that we’ve been fortunate enough to get to work with, and we’re going to continue to do that and try to step out of our box and collaborate with people that maybe are unexpected and maybe people that BK and I need to collaborate with and need to learn something from. So it keeps it interesting, it keeps it fun, and it keeps us growing. So it’s something that we’re always gonna try to do.”

Florida Georgia Line Tour dates with Nelly and Chris Lane:

06/03 – Dallas, TX @ Starplex Pavilion
06/15 – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health At Jones Beach Theater
06/16 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
06/17 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
06/24 – Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
06/25 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
07/21 – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
08/03 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
08/04 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
08/05 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
08/11 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
08/17 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
08/18 – Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre
08/19 – Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion
09/09 – Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
09/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
09/14 – Wheatland, CA @ Toyota Amphitheatre
09/16 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
09/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
10/01 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
10/20 – Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Amphitheatre – Alpharetta
10/21 – Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Amphitheatre – Alpharetta

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