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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Sep. 26, 2016 4 years ago

Florida Georgia Line releases song dedicated to Mayor Ed Kelley and all dads

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The track, "While He's Still Around," is a sentimental song Brian Kelley helped write after almost losing his dad.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Mayor Ed Kelley is part of the inspiration behind the new Florida Georgia Line song, "While He's Still Around." 

According to the Associated Press, Brian Kelley — one half of the superstar country duo and Mayor Kelley's son — sings about spending quality time with his dad, doing things like fishing and fixing up old cars. The track is on the group's new album, "Dig Your Roots." 

"I almost lost my dad," Kelley told AP. "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."

The song was written back around 2009, when Mayor Kelley went into cardiac arrest while helping his son move into an apartment in Nashville with Florida Georgia Line's other half, Tyler Hubbard. 

"I already had a bypass surgery in 1999, so I knew some of the symptoms," he said. "I felt a tightness. I laid down, and I told them 'You better call 911.'" 

While in the ambulance, Mayor Kelley heard one of the paramedics say, "I can't get a pulse." The next thing he heard was a faint "Sir," that got progressively louder and louder. 

"They said, 'You were in cardiac arrest, and we had to shock you back twice,'" he said. "Brian and Tyler were standing outside the ambulance praying."

That moment wasn't the only experience that inspired "While He's Still Around." The song was also written about Hubbard's father, who was killed in a helicopter accident in 2007, and two other Florida Georgia Line writers who had lost their dads. 

"It was kind of this thing that stayed with them for the last seven years," said Mayor Kelley, who had a stent procedure and has been fine ever since. "I'm grateful to be here, and proud to know that he appreciates life. We all know where we're going — but we don't want to go any sooner than we have to."

Listen to the song here: 

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