Tyler Hubbard Marks A New Chapter In His Solo Career With Sophomore Album, ‘Strong’

“I hope with each album, the fans continue to get to know who I am,” Hubbard shares.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 12, 2024


11:24 am

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Tyler Hubbard; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Tyler Hubbard sets a new standard for his career with the release of his second solo album, Strong.

As the title indicates, this collection of 13 songs cultivates a series of themes that hold the overarching message of strength, both physical and mental. While building out this project, Hubbard found himself putting his life under a microscope and reflecting on how the concept of strength applies to his journey. As a result, the title came to him organically. 

“We kept referring to everything as, ‘well, that’s a strong take’ or ‘that’s a strong mix,’ or ‘man, that’s a really strong song for this next album,’ or ‘that’s a strong photo’ and as we were trying to title this project, we just kept saying that. Finally, I’m just like, ‘guys, why don’t we just call it ‘Strong,’” he told Country Now and other outlets. “It feels like it’s overall pretty strong project. I would confidently say that I’m proud of it and I love the heart behind the actual song, and I love the depth of the word strong. So let’s just roll with that and see where it goes.’ It felt right.”

Tyler Hubbard - Strong
Tyler Hubbard – Strong

The Title Track Focuses On “Relational Strength”

That same energy is carried into the title track, which Hubbard says is centered around “relational strength” within his marriage, within his bond with his kids, his friends, his fans and his team. Building strength among those relationships is something that has become more and more valuable to the country star over the years. 

“Those relationships have become super important to me and super valuable in my life. I think from a relational standpoint, that’s the heart behind this song. And it’s fun to get to reflect on my marriage through this music and through that song specifically, just getting to look back at where we’ve come from and what we’ve done to get to where we’re at and how strong we feel at this current moment. Not that we don’t have work that can still be done, but it’s nice to feel like you’re in a place where you’re really strong and it’d take a lot to tear you apart. So that’s where I’m at.”

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Second Full-Length Project As A Solo Artist

This marks only his second album release since parting ways with Brian Kelley as part of the duo Florida Georgia Line and embarking on a solo career. Hubbard’s debut project was self-titled and served as a fresh introduction to who he was as an artist and where his music was headed at the time. Now, Strong dives even deeper into his distinct sound, the confidence he’s built along the way, and the people who have helped him get to this point. 

Hubbard co-produced Strong with Jordan Schmidt and serves as a co-writer on each track. Being so heavily involved in the creative process has allowed the “Dancin’ In The Country” singer to share his art with the world in an authentic way that lets his listeners know who he is while continuing to strengthen their bond over a love for music. 

“I feel like this year, for the first time after putting out my debut album, I was really able to meet and connect with my fans and see what they wanted, see what they were resonating with, connecting with, seeing in the set, what was missing or what was really working, and go back to the bus, and write these songs for this next album. So I feel like it was somewhat reverse-engineered for the live set as well as to get to know me even more. I hope with each album, the fans continue to get to know who I am.”

Tyler Hubbard; Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

Reflecting On Fatherhood In The Self-Penned, “’73 Beetle”

Hubbard explores the raw vulnerability that comes with feeling love at first sight in the song “Vegas,” takes a minute to appreciate the small things in “A Lot With A Little,” and gets the party started with “Night Like That.” Several tunes like “Take Me Back” and “Park” take a more sentimental approach as they give listeners a glimpse into Hubbard’s upbringing, and his hometown while “‘73 Beetle,” the only solo write on the album, pays homage to fatherhood. 

“‘73 Beetle” is an incredibly personal song that finds Hubbard reflecting on the countless hours spent in the garage working on that type of car with his father. He explains this song acts as a continuation of “Miss My Daddy,” which appears on his first album. 

“From the time I was 14, we spent endless hours in the garage working on that car. So it’s just a special thing that takes me back to those years and getting to spend time with him and our fingerprints are all over that thing. It’s just a special car that can’t be replaced and just figured I’d write a song about it…It’s something that I felt like was important to put on this project and to let people in a little bit more into that side of who I am and that personal story and the specialness that that car still has for me.”

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This Track List Is Intended To Feel Like A Road Trip For Listeners

And finally, the project comes to a close with the title track being placed very last in the well-thought-out sequencing. 

“I really hope, as far as sequencing goes, that it is a journey for the fans, and there’s kind of something for everybody, but that it’s a journey that’s kind of seamless and hopefully one that you don’t want to skip any of the emotions that the songs are bringing to you. So it’s sort of meant to be a road trip album, if you will, and something you can just listen to from top to bottom,” he explained. 

Finding Inspiration In Keith Urban’s Artistry

Eleven of these songs were penned while Hubbard was on the road, performing in support of Keith Urban. In fact, just watching the “Messed Up As Me” singer bring his high energy and passion to the stage each night was a big motivation for Hubbard. 

“If you’ve ever seen Keith Urban play a live show, it’s just a really good time and a whole lot of energy. And my show has always been pretty high energy as well, but having someone like Keith to be able to look up to and watch and idolize, especially as I’m coming into my own as a solo artist and learning what it looks like to have that dynamic on stage, what it looks like to treat your band and crew with the utmost respect and just create great culture, I mean, there’s not a better example out there in my opinion than Keith Urban. So that was a huge honor.”

Feeling Less Pressure With Second Album Release

Since releasing his debut album, Tyler Hubbard has seen tremendous growth in his career. He was welcomed into the industry as a solo artist with open arms, and this support has helped Hubbard rebuild with more “gratitude” and a new “perspective on what’s important.” In this time, he has racked up several hits like Double Platinum “5 Foot 9” and Platinum “Dancin’ In The Country,” and grown his fanbase to new heights. The culmination of all his newfound success on his own has allowed him to re-live some of that pressure that he was feeling when he first entered this new chapter. 

“I’d say currently feeling maybe a little bit less pressure than the beginning when you just don’t know, you’re really diving off into the deep end of the unknown and kind of hoping for the best,” he explained. “It feels a little more known now. It feels a little more comfortable and it feels like I found my rhythm a bit. So that’s definitely helped, feeling that I’m supported, and that people are resonating with the music, it just inspires me and makes me want to carry that momentum into the next project and just continue to evolve too.”

Tyler Hubbard; Photo by John Shearer
Tyler Hubbard; Photo by John Shearer

Dedicating The Year To Writing More New Songs

Hubbard will continue dedicating his time to writing more songs as he makes his way from city to city, performing for new fans throughout the year. 

Right now, I’m just in the collection phase and it is beautiful,” he shared. “I got another six or eight months of just being on tour writing and trying to beat songs that I have, which is always a fun challenge.”

Tyler Hubbard is currently on the road, serving as direct support for his longtime friend, Kane Brown, on select dates of his headline In the Air Tour 2024. This trek kicked off March 28 in Charlottesville, Virginia and features a total of 31 dates with upcoming stops in Rosemont, IL on April 12 and Bloomington, IN on April 13. The run is set to wrap up on September 14 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.