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Song of the Day for August 19: "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line

2014 American Country Countdown Awards, Dustin Lynch
Donn Jones/Donn Jones/Invision/AP
Country Group Florida Georgia Line, from left, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, pose at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at the Music City Center on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Donn Jones/Invision/AP)

Music has had its share of words and phrases that have become a part of the English language – rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, soul. Writer Jody Rosen added another one, bro-country, in an article published in New York magazine on August 19, 2013.

Rosen wrote the article about our Song of the Day, “Cruise,” by Florida Georgia Line. The song set a record at the time, 22 weeks number one on Billboard’s Hot Country chart. He defined bro-country as “music by and of the tatted, gym-toned, party-hearty young American white dude.” The lyrics talked of alcohol, young women, pickup trucks and partying.

Bro-country music was influenced more by hip hop, hard rock and electronica than country. Jason Aldean's country rap song “Dirt Road Anthem,” in 2011 jump-started the genre. Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Chase Owens sang songs fitting Rosen’s definition.

Bro-country divided the generations. “Cruise” was the song that passed the baton from the older generation to the younger.

Florida Georgia Line released “Cruise” in 2012. Band members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were the main contributors. Once they discovered the melody they wrote the song in 45 minutes. The song had some success when it was released, reaching 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rapper Nellie then remixed it. The song remained number one on the country chart for weeks and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

The term bro-country lives on, but the music has faded away. Today, most country hits are almost the opposite. The lyrics don’t talk about partying, alcohol or fast women. They sing about how much they love their wives and girlfriends. The genre is known as boyfriend country.

Fridays are when we enjoy a new weekly series that's part history, part trivia, and ALL music. The series features selections from former News-Press editor Sheldon Zoldan's '"Song of the Day." The initiative began as a daily lockdown project on Facebook at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, through which Zoldan highlights how every aspect of life has a connection through music.