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Tim McGraw on Brantley Gilbert: ‘He Reminds Me of Hank, Jr.’

Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

At 46 years old, Tim McGraw has been in the country music scene for a couple decades and there are countless artists who look up to him. However, the ‘Highway Don’t Care’ singer still looks to others for inspiration — including country newcomer Brantley Gilbert, to whom he pays a very high compliment. 

Gilbert has been opening for McGraw on the Two Lanes of Freedom Tour, along with Love and Theft. And he’s been noticed. In fact, McGraw compares him to Hank Williams Jr., telling Big Machine Label Group, “He rocks, man. He reminds me like of Hank, Jr. when Hank, Jr. was just at his prime and out there just smoking… He walks out with that kind of swagger and that attitude that all artists wish they had.”

MGraw definitely pays attention to his openers but he also makes sure to keep learning from every single artist. To him, constant learning is part of being a musician and you never know everything, even if you’re a country music icon.

“I feel that when I stop learning how to do something, like stop learning how it is what I do, then I probably shouldn’t do it anymore,” McGraw said. “Every act I see, every song I hear on the radio, every new artist that I see, every video I see, I always learn something new from everybody. Sometimes you learn a lot. Your eyes are open sometimes to such that you didn’t realize. I don’t think there’s ever been an artist I’ve listened to that I hadn’t learned something from. Sometimes you learn what not to do. But more often than not, you learn what to do and things to do better.”

The ‘Southern Girl’ singer’s mindset within the extremely competitive entertainment industry is a breath of fresh air. Perhaps it’s because he’s been around the block a time or two. Either way, it’s refreshing to know he doesn’t feel threatened by new artists or artists. In fact, he appreciates them.

“I like artists that come into the format and up the game for everybody and push everybody along,” he says. “I don’t think that anybody wants to just sort of stay status quo and wants everybody to come in and stay status quo. I think any artist wants people to come in and bring in fresh ideas and fresh music and fresh energy and push us along too.”

Next: Find Out Why Brantley Gilbert Fears Tim McGraw

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