The eagerly anticipated Florida Georgia Line episode of CMT Crossroads aired on Wednesday, and the Nashville duo’s longtime appreciation of the Backstreet Boys received its fullest display to date. Over the course of the evening, the combined seven vocalists performed FGL’s hits “Cruise,” “H.O.L.Y.” and “God, Your Mama, and Me,” along with the Nineties boy band’s hits “I Want It That Way” and “As Long As You Love Me” for fresh takes on familiar tunes.
“Let’s finish this with a banger, shall we?” said Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean before the two groups launched into their version of FGL’s debut smash “Cruise.” With each vocalist taking a solo during the verses, the performance offered a new look at a song that’s been heard thousands of times in heavy airplay.
“These guys are professionals, they take their job really serious and they also take their relationships with each other really serious,” FGL’s Tyler Hubbard said of their friendship with the Backstreet Boys in February. “I would imagine it’s not always easy. Those guys are brothers, they’re really, really tight through the ups and downs. It’s really cool to see.”
FGL has a rich history of collaborating with other artists, and in the last year they’ve appeared on songs by Bebe Rexha and the Chainsmokers. “Cruise,” from 2013’s Here’s to the Good Times . . . This Is How We Roll, included a remixed version that featured Nelly, and the song held the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 24 consecutive weeks, a record only recently surpassed by Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road.”
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During Florida Georgia Line’s headlining 2017 Smooth Tour, the band played its first series of stadiums, selling out evenings at Fenway Park in Boston, Target Field in Minneapolis and, most recently, Chicago’s Wrigley Field. See FGL join the Backstreet Boys on the latter’s Number One “I Want It That Way” below.