Florida Georgia Line headlines B.U.B.B.A. benefit at Joyland in Bradenton: interview

wtatangelo@bradenton.comOctober 4, 2012 

The parents of Lakewood Ranch High seniors Josh "Bubba" Rogers and Brett "Bswag" Wagner have teamed with Joyland and one of the hottest new acts in country music for a benefit concert to celebrate their sons' birthdays and raise seat belt awareness.

The 1st annual B.U.B.B.A. Birthday Bash concert on Friday will feature a performance by Florida Georgia Line, with all of the ticket sales going to the Buckle Up for Bswag and Bubba Association.

Also known as B.U.B.B.A, the organization was started by Gena Rogers and Debbie Wagner, the mothers of the two boys who lost their lives as a result of a car accident on Christmas night last year.

Tyler Hubbard, of Monroe, Ga., and Brian Kelley, of Ormond Beach -- they formed FGL a couple years ago in Nashville -- will be holding a special meet and greet for the families and friends of Josh and Brett at the Bradenton country music venue.

During a recent phone interview with the Herald, Kelley recalled that some high school friends of his lost their lives in a car crash.

"We've always been about giving back and when we heard about this event we jumped at the chance," he said.

Florida Georgia Line's debut single is the fun, summer-love sing along "Cruise." Written by Hubbard and Kelley, it's at No. 22 on the Billboard's Top Country Songs chart and climbing.

"From day one, we knew we had something special for us," Kelley said. "And as soon as the track was done being recorded it felt like Christmas morning."

Earlier this year, FGL signed with the Big Machine label group that's home to many famous Nashville names including Taylor Swift.

"We really admire her," Hubbard said during the same speaker phone interview. "Hopefully we'll get to write a song with her."

Details: 7 p.m. (doors) Oct. 5, Joyland, 5520 14th St., Bradenton. Tickets: $10 (advance)/$15 (at the door). Information: 941-756-6060 or www.joylandcountry.com.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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