Florida Georgia Line's hiatus has freed up bandmate Tyler Hubbard a solo career, which is an opportunity he's grateful for, these days. But back when the duo first decided to part ways, it was his partner Brian Kelley's idea — and Hubbard admits that at first, it came as a shock.

"It was definitely unexpected and something that BK came to me and wanted to do," Hubbard tells ET. "And it took me a minute to kind of process that. And I thought, 'Well, I'll just be a songwriter, and I won't do the artist thing.'"

And he did, briefly.

As someone whose songwriting has always been a major component of his career, Hubbard leaned harder into co-writing sessions, which he enjoyed — but he quickly began to miss the stage.

"Then, shortly thereafter, I was like, 'Yeah, I really miss making records and touring and all of that,'" he continues. "So yeah, it's been really fun to kind of step into this new season and connect with the fans."

After kicking off his solo career with an EP and a spot on Keith Urban's fall 2022 tour, Hubbard is fulling stepping into his own as a solo act on Friday (Jan. 27) with the release of his full-length studio debut, a self-titled project. It's an album that is allowing the FGL star to express who he is as an individual artist for the first time, he says, and it's a project that he didn't always know that he'd make.

"This was sort of a surprise," the singer acknowledges. "This was a career shift, and a big transition for me — going from being in a duo, Florida Georgia Line, to now stepping into this new season of being a solo artist."

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