Tim McGraw on Giving Taylor Swift Advice, Working With Pitbull
The 46-year-old, who’s joined forces with artists including Pitbull for his upcoming TV concert, ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night, revealed the rapper and he connected right off the bat.
“He’s such a great guy,” Tim says about Mr. Worldwide. “He has a great energy about him. Very respectful guy. I met him at the Grammys this year. It was the first time I’d ever met him and of course I’ve been a fan of his for awhile, and my daughters are fans of his and my wife, and we talked for awhile and right away he’s one of those guys you just like instantly and really connect with.”
So how did Tim get the rapper on board for Superstar Sumer Night? “We were putting together the special and we asked if he’d be interested in doing it and he jumped right on board, so then we had to figure out something to do together and we figured out this medley thing to do that worked really well.”
Along with Pitbull, Tim also joined forces with singer Ne-Yo and Nelly again.
“Nelly, who I’ve worked with before, has this thing with “Florida Georgia Line” and then Ne-Yo and I are doing our song together and my wife is on there, so it’s pretty cool.”
Speaking of meshing well with rappers, the country crooner also touched upon routinely working with Nelly. In fact, Tim’s wife Faith Hill even made him fried chicken during a song writing session at their home.
“He came over and had dinner and we wrote three or four songs that night and not too long after that I found a song I was doing on my album, sent it over to him, and he did vocal on it so it was on my Emotional Traffic track,” explains Tim. “And then his last album, he sent over a song to me, and I put my vocal on it. So we’ve sort of been trading songs back and forth. Then we hooked up over in London over the winter … and I went to his show and we sang together.”
Tim continues about Ne-Yo: “He’s like one of those guys, it’s like playing tennis with someone really good, you up your game. He’s such a good singer, when you sing with him, he can’t help but make you better.”
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However an artist closer to home for Tim is Taylor Swift. The “22” singer, who titled her first single simply “Tim McGraw,” has come full circle lending her vocals to his latest single, “Highway Don’t Care.”
So how did this collaboration come about?
“We had talked about it several times when we’d run into each other at award shows and she opened for Faith and I’s at our Soul2Soul tour … awhile back and we’re all a big fan of her and I think she’s one of the coolest artists to come out in awhile and I think her song writing is spectacular,” gushes Tim of Taylor. “She’s a great artist and singer. Her style is superb. We had talked about doing something together and when this song came along I sent it over to her and asked if she’d be interested in doing it and there was no hesitation, right away she wanted to do it. And I knew I wanted Keith [Urban] to play guitar so it was one of those things that just really fell together organically, which is unusual in the music business.”
As for working alongside one another, the threesome had technology to thank due to their nonstop schedules.
“It was good because everyone is so busy, but the great thing about modern technology is I did my record and sent it over to Taylor, she does her vocals, sends it back to me. [Then] I send it over to Keith, he lays his guitar part down, sends it back to me, we mix it, and voilá! We have a great song. It was good working with those guys. It wouldn’t have been the same record certainly without those guys.”
Aside from advice on music, we had to ask, does Taylor seek out relationship advice from the husband and father of three daughters?
“No, she doesn’t ask me for [relationship] advice,” says Tim. “I don’t know what kind of advice I would give her cause I’m the guy. So the only advice I would give, it wouldn’t work for Taylor. The only advice I would give is to shut and say, ‘yes ma’am,’ all the time which would’t help her! I’m way out-numbered at my house!”
Tune in to ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night special on CBS on May 19 at 9/8c.
Check out Tim, Taylor, and Keith in ‘Highway Don’t Care':