He told Apple Music’s Alecia Davis in a new interview about how Swift’s 2006 debut single aged the then-39-year-old country star. “Well, when I first heard ‘Tim McGraw’ by Taylor Swift, I mean, I thought it was a good song. I was a little apprehensive about it when I first heard it,” he admitted. “Then I thought, ‘Have I gotten to that age now to where they’re singing songs about me? Does that mean I’ve jumped the shark a bit? Is everything still cool?'”
The country-pop-crossover sensation wrote “Tim McGraw” in her high-school freshman math class, when she was dating a senior about to head off to college and wanted to capture everything about her that would remind him of Swift in a song. Her favorite country artist immediately came to mind.
“So I didn’t feel like I was that terribly old,” the “Here On Earth” singer told Apple Music about realizing how young she was at the time of writing the song.
He’s since shared a stage with the “Willow” singer multiple times throughout their careers, from the time she opened for him and his wife Faith Hill‘s Soul2Soul Tour in 2007, to the time all three sang “Tim McGraw” together during her Reputation World Tour in 2018.
“I’m a big fan of Taylor’s. I think that she has just such a unique way of connecting with her audience and her songwriting ability and her intuition is just so incredible,” he concluded. “And I just think she’s one of the greatest artists to come along in a long time.”
Watch McGraw’s Apple Music interview below.