Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus Shares His Early Impression of Taylor Swift’s ‘Work Ethic’

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20: Taylor Swift is joined onstage by special guests (L-R) Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts as she wraps the North American portion of her RED tour playing to a crowd of more than 14,000 fans on the second of three sold-out hometown shows at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on September 20, 2013. (Photo by Larry Busacca/TAS/Getty Images for TAS)

Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus has joined the ever-expanding group of people who have nothing but kind things to say about Taylor Swift.

The bass player, who also provided background vocals during his years with the country music group, was asked what made Swift special during a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live alum Rob Riggle’s Riggle’s Picks podcast. DeMarcus was effusive in his response, which he began by recalling the “Cruel Summer” singer’s first tour opening for his band more than a decade ago.

“There was something intangible about her, and watching her from the side of the stage, that you can’t describe until you witness it,” he said during the March 20 podcast episode, a clip of which was later shared on X. “She had a drive and a tenacity that you don’t find in very many people.”

DeMarcus, 52, went on to describe Swift as a “maniac about songwriting” even back then. “This kid came to town with already a defined vision of what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be and how she wanted to say it,” he said.

In addition to his admiration of her dedication to songwriting, DeMarcus explained that he was also impressed by how closely the now-34-year-old pop star paid to other small details of touring, such as the lighting and catering.

“She was involved in every single aspect of her career from day one. I’ve never seen anybody that has the work ethic that she has,” he said, adding that there “is something about Taylor that is extraordinarily driven that you don’t find in very many people—especially her age.”

The award-winning singer, who recently set a Grammys record by winning a fourth Album of the Year award for her 2022 album Midnights, has come a long way since those early touring days. More than a decade later, she has become one of the world’s most famous pop stars and is now preparing for the April release of her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department.

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