Tim McGraw On Country Music: “It Saved Me”

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Tim McGraw takes part in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Songwriter Roundtable, where he is joined by six other artists who have penned songs that are contenders at the upcoming 2019 Academy Awards. Tim’s song, “Gravity,” which he co-wrote with Lori McKenna, is featured in the film “Free Solo.”

In a candid discussion about his love for music, songwriting and his career, Tim is joined at the round table with Jack Antonoff, David Crosby, Kesha, Boots Riley, Mark Ronson and Diane Warren, as he recalls the first song he ever wrote.

“I grew up in a little town — Start, Louisiana — just cotton farming and bean farming, been driving a tractor my whole life,” he recalls. “I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but it was when Princess Diana and Charles got married. I just fell in love with her like everybody else did. So, I sat down and wrote a song about their wedding and how beautiful she was. I don’t remember how it goes, I just remember something about ‘You look so much like a queen’ or something like that. It was terrible.”

He later admits that everything good that has happened in his life has come from music. He met his wife, Faith Hill, through it and he sees music as therapy.

“In a literal sense, it saved me because I was getting an eviction notice from my apartment and I got my first royalty check pretty much within the same week. But in a broader sense, everything good that has happened to me in my life has come from country music,” he admits. “I met my wife through it, which was the first turning point in my life into a real understanding of what love is and what a future could be, and finding out who you are in a lot of ways and discovering the bad sides of yourself and the good sides of yourself.”

He adds: “Music is such therapy. Especially if you grew up in a dysfunctional environment, to have that as a tool that you can go to and release yourself is something that I’m always grateful for. I try to be grateful — because it can go away at any moment. You can wake up one morning and your magic is gone.”

Tim’s recently released his current single, “Neon Church,” his first solo effort since 2016’s “How I’ll Always Be.” The new song will be featured on his upcoming 15th studio album. No details on the album’s release have been revealed at this time.

Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter is a freelance journalist based in Nashville. When she's not covering the latest music news or interviewing countless country artists, she can be found at a writers round listening to the best up-and-coming songwriting talent Music City has to offer.

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