Florida Georgia Line are the mega-star duo that country fans know and love today thanks largely to their debut single, "Cruise," which the group released in 2012. After steadily climbing the charts, the song became an inescapable banger in 2013, notching its record-setting 24th consecutive week on the Billboard Hot Country charts during the week of Aug. 24.

"Cruise" was the first-ever country single to earn diamond certification from the RIAA. It also hit another milestone in 2014, when it became the best-selling country digital single of all time as of that year.

However, "Cruise" wasn't always supposed to be the uptempo radio smash it is today. Chase Rice, who co-wrote the song, explains to Taste of Country that he initially had something a little slower in mind.

"[FGL duo member] Brian [Kelley] was a huge believer in it. He was like, 'Dude, this is huge, this is monstrous,'" Rice recalls. "I didn't really see it at the time, but I'm glad he did."

Before "Cruise" became the duo's breakout hit, Florida Georgia Line were a relatively obscure duo. When they opened for LoCash one night at a show in Virginia in 2011, the members of that duo admit, even though they knew there was something special about FGL, they didn't imagine they'd become as popular as they are today.

"The band didn't sound good. I was like, 'I mean, they're nice guys.' We played cornhole with 'em and hung out with 'em," LoCash admit. "But you could always tell there was something really special about 'em."

Even Rice says he wasn't initially sold on Florida Georgia Line cutting "Cruise." However, he adds, in hindsight, he's glad his first instincts were proved wrong.

"I wanted Luke Bryan or somebody big to cut it. And luckily they took it and made it what it was," Rice adds about writing the song. "Because at that time, nobody knew who they were. They know now."

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