Music

Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line's Dad, Ed Kelley, Was His Hometown's Mayor

Photo by Katie Darby/Invision/AP

Before his 2020 retirement from running for public office, Ed Kelley spent about 20 years as an elected official in Volusia County, Florida, serving roles ranging from the chair of the Volusia County Council to the mayor of Ormond Beach.

Ed's political career has shaped the hometown refections of his son, Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley.

"I was into politics and community from a young age," Brian told Wide Open Country and other media outlets while promoting his debut solo album, Sunshine State of Mind. "When it was election season, we'd go down to the Dunkin' Donuts or over by Tomoka Elementary over by the traffic stop light and hold our signs and get our waves in and tell everybody to go vote and do their part and get the word out. I always thought that was great because he was doing what he wanted to do and he was serving our community and our family in a way that meant something to him."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported in 2020 that Ed first entered the political arena as a Republican to address head-on what he considered a lack of government efficiency. The future mayor and Volusia County chair brought to the table years of high-level management experience at the Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion company.

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"I just love that he's such a leader," Brian adds. "It's not easy. I know that, and I learned from watching him get calls every single week or weekend about just crazy things. There's always something to take care of, and it takes a lot of special people to be able to handle that: public office and public service. I just couldn't be more proud of him. He did it for a long time, and he made a lot of great changes in the area and just was a great leader. I'm very, very thankful to have him as a father."

Ed inspired at least one Florida Georgia Line song: 2016's "While He's Still Around," which is yet another country tune that tells you a secret about a father's love.

The song's backstory dates back to 2009, when the longtime politician suffered cardiac arrest while helping his son move into a Nashville apartment with the other half of FGL, Tyler Hubbard.

"I almost lost my dad," Brian told the Associated Press (as quoted by the Ormond Beach Observer). "We just wanted to kind of hopefully put that in words. The message is while your loved ones are still around, make sure you're calling them, letting them know you love them, you support them."'

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Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line's Dad, Ed Kelley, Was His Hometown's Mayor