Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks both moved to Nashville in the late '80s, and they ended up meeting a number of the same people. One of their mutual friends was a woman named Tammy Rose, who invited both future superstars to be bridesmaids in her wedding, along with another country artist.
"You know, when I first moved to town, oddly enough, there was a girl named Tammy Rose who sort of took new artists under their wing when they first moved to town and Garth Brooks was a friend of hers," McGraw told Keith Urban on Beyond The Influence Radio on Apple Music Country. "I was a friend of hers. Tracy Lawrence was a friend of hers. And so when she got married, she asked Garth, me and Tracy Lawrence to be her bridesmaids."
McGraw explained that Brooks "had just blown up, big" and that Lawrence "had had hits." "I had just gotten a record deal and hadn't had a hit," he recalled. "So we're all bridesmaids at this wedding for Tammy and I'm standing there. I'm sort of in awe." Brooks released his first album in 1989, and McGraw followed with his own debut in 1993.
"Tracy and I had been friends for a while and he had his success, but Garth was there and I'm sort of in awe of Garth being there," McGraw recalled, sharing that he told Brooks, "You know, I just want to thank you Garth, because you knocked the door down for all the things that I wanted to do as a country singer. I wanted to come to town and record songs that had a broader melody or broader appeal and I wanted to do shows that were like the rock shows that I saw growing up. That's the kind of thing that I wanted to do." In response, Brooks "said something really profound to me and it stuck with me to this day."
"He goes, 'Look, we all moved to town for that reason. I just got here first,'" McGraw told Urban. "And I thought that that was really sweet of him to say that, but really, really perceptive of him to say that too, as well, because we were all thinking those sorts of things. We all grew up in that environment. Seeing, watching, hearing all these different influences and wanting to include them in the genre of music that we chose to make."