Tim McGraw Recounts the Moment He Almost Gave Up on Music
Tim McGraw will release his 14th studio album, Damn Country Music, on Nov. 6, after almost 25 years in the music business. Reaching that milestone is an impressive feat for any artist, but it's especially significant for McGraw, who reveals that he actually considered giving up on music before his freshman record was even released.
After one particularly grueling recording session -- during which, as the singer recalls on Oprah's Master Class, he was "singing over and over and over again, and not really thinking I got it right" -- McGraw went to dinner with the well-known producer who was in charge of the session, and he quickly tried to squash McGraw's dreams of stardom.
"He goes, 'You know, you're a nice guy ... But I don't think this is for you,'" McGraw recounts. "'Unless you want to find another part of this business you want to work in, you [maybe] should not be involved in being a singer.'"
The moment, McGraw says, was devastating.
"At first, I believed him," he explains. "[I was] questioning myself and questioning whether I should do this anymore."
Ultimately, however, it was the singer's sheer willpower that convinced him to try again.
"I didn't want to do anything else," McGraw says. "I couldn't imagine what else I would do.
"[The producer and I] didn't work together anymore," he continues. "The label sort of just stopped paying attention to anything I did. I figured I was about to lose my record deal."
With $150 left to his name, McGraw tried an unconventional approach -- and it worked.
"I got all these musicians together, and I said, 'Look, I want to do a show down at this place called Diamond-n-the-Ruff.' It was a little bar that was [in] downtown Nashville," McGraw recalls. "We learned all these songs, and I sent out letters to all these different producers and record labels and everybody all over town."
One producer, Byron Gallimore, heard something he liked and offered to work with McGraw ... and the rest is history. But, more than launching a successful career, McGraw says that he learned an important life lesson through the difficult process.
"You got to make yourself go forward. You have to make yourself push through," he explains. "There's always that doubt that drives you forward. I wasn't going to let the doubt overcome the belief that I had and what I could do."
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