Remember When: Taylor Swift Performed “Tim McGraw” In Front of Tim McGraw at the ACMs

In the mid-’00s, Taylor Swift was little more than a burgeoning country artist who got a slot performing her debut single at the Academy of Country Music Awards. A young Swift not only had the honor of performing at the prestigious event, she got to do it in front of one of her idols: Tim McGraw.

Videos by American Songwriter

Swift’s debut single was the namesake of the “I Like It, I Love It” singer. Though it’s not really about McGraw, she uses his music as an avenue to connect with a former lover. But when you think Tim McGraw / I hope you think my favorite song, she sings.

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He said the way my blue eyes shined
Put those Georgia stars to shame that night
I said, “That’s a lie”
Just a boy in a Chevy truck

Shortly after “Tim McGraw” was released, Swift took to the ACMs to perform it. She looks like a far cry from what we know of Swift now. Instead of glittering body suits and a stadium full of people singing back to her, she’s standing on stage alone, timidly singing the ballad.

But when you think Tim McGraw
I hope you think my favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
The moon like a spotlight on the lake
When you think happiness
I hope you think that little black dress

Toward the end of performing the song, Swift spots the real Tim McGraw in the audience. She left the stage and walked right in front of McGraw. At the end of the performance, she charmingly introduces herself to the country icon.

“Hi, I’m Taylor,” Swift said with an outstretched hand. And thus, country had a new star on its hands. Revisit the moment, below.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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