In a Periscope chat posted in mid-February, the group remained upbeat while hinting at some unspecified upcoming news. The video was posted shortly after the band’s current single and video, “Live Forever,” had been briefly taken down from iTunes, Vevo and YouTube, then re-posted without the BMLG affiliation.
The group has been saying for months that it is looking to pursue a more pop direction with its third album, Heart + Beat, and have been recording with dance-pop-leaning producers like Diplo (Madonna, M.I.A., Justin Bieber) and RedOne (Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias). The album was initially scheduled for release last fall but was postponed when “Live Forever,” the project’s RedOne-produced first single, failed to become a radio hit. A source close to the situation tells Billboard that the group and the label were not seeing eye-to-eye on the new material and decided to part ways.
The group, which debuted on the Billboard charts in 2009, released two albums -- its eponymous debut and 2013's Pioneer, which was their first No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart -- that have sold some 2.3 million units, according to Nielsen Music. They have also notched seven top 10 singles on the Hot Country Songs chart, including three No. 1s: “If I Die Young” -- the fourth-largest selling country digital song in history, with 5 million sold -- “All Your Life” and “Better Dig Two.” On Country Airplay, they’ve had eight top 10s, and four No. 1s (the three above mentioned tracks, along with “Done”). "Live Forever" peaked in the low 20s on those charts.
The group won a Grammy in 2014 in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category for its cover of Glen Campbell’s “Gentle On My Mind.” It was named the Academy of Country Music’s New Artist of the Year in 2010, and earned the same honor from the Country Music Assn. the following year.