“Looking back now, I probably should’ve let him run” is the opening line to country singer, Potomac native and Georgetown Visitation alumna Maggie Rose’s new hit single “Looking Back Now,” a song that deals with toxic relationships, a tragic ending and ultimately, regret.
In real life, Rose, born Margaret Durante, does not have many regrets. She began her professional career six years ago when she moved to Nashville. Since then, she debuted her first album, Cut to Impress, in 2013 and was named the sixth most-played female on all country radio stations, in between Sheryl Crow and Kelly Clarkson.
“I went from Potomac, where I was rare in my career path, to a town where everyone has some involvement in the music industry,” Rose said. “At first it was intimidating and humbling, but I think that it made me become a better musician.”
According to Rose, her love of music began at a very early age due to her exposure to singers such as Linda Ronstadt, Shania Twain and Patsy Cline, but her introduction to the world of professional singing began in high school.
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” Rose said. “My sophomore year I got hooked up with this band called The B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover band. I started performing with them pretty regularly until I was a sophomore at Clemson.”
At age 16, she auditioned for American Idol but did not get past the audition round.
“They said I was too young,” Rose said. “It was one of the most heartbreaking moments for me at the time. I felt like the world was over. Now I realize that the little things like that were just different steps that have conditioned me to get me where I am now. I think that successes are great, but the best lessons are learned through failures.”
Her failed audition was anything but the end of her singing career. During her sophomore year of college, she was discovered by former head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, who eventually led her to signing with RMP Entertainment.
“I got the call from Tommy’s assistant, and I thought I was being pranked, but a couple weeks later I went up to his office to perform for him,” Rose said.
Rose attributes a large part of her success to support from the Potomac community.
“People rallied around me even at an early age,” Rose said. “After soccer practice, we’d all be hanging out and they’d ask me to sing. I was so shy at the time that I made everyone turn around because I just couldn’t perform for them while they would watch me. I always think about that when I come back and play shows at home.”
Not surprisingly, Rose also has a large CHS fanbase.
“I first heard about Maggie Rose from my friend, and I’ve started to notice her songs on the radio more and more,” junior Carly Kabelac said. “My favorite song from her is ‘Looking Back Now’ because it’s creative and much different from other songs out there.”
Rose’s favorite song that she has written is also “Looking Back Now.”
“It’s consistently been a fan favorite and something that people gravitate toward because the protagonist of the story is really complex,” Rose said. “I love the challenge, and I love the way people respond. You can visibly see them getting drawn into the story and that’s always a fun thing for me to observe.”
Local fans had the opportunity to hear Maggie Rose live March 8 and 9 for back-to-back performances at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
“It’s really nice to come home, knowing that people are busy with everything going on, but they’re still taking time to visit me and support what I do,” Rose said.
This year, Rose and her band will continue to tour all over the country from Maryland to California.
“There was a time when I would make everyone turn around and not look at me when I sang, which is a funny thing to think about,” Maggie said. “I’ve come a very long way.”