Spend your early years in small-town Louisiana with your single mother. Worship baseball as a young boy, and discover that your favorite pitcher is your father. Go to school on scholarship to study sports medicine, only to find out you've got a talent for guitar and singing. Outsell Garth Brooks for the title of "most popular male singer in country music." Marry the breathtaking and fabulously talented Faith Hill. Do all these things and maybe--just maybe--you might be able to get an idea of what it's like to be Tim McGraw.
Samuel Timothy Smith was born on May 1, 1967 in a small town outside of Monroe, Louisiana. Growing up with his mother and two sisters, Tim had no idea who his father was. He loved baseball and, in particular, the New York Mets--especially bullpen pitcher Tug McGraw, his personal hero. At the age of eleven, Tim was rifling through an old box and discovered his birth certificate. To his great surprise, the paternal reference listed Frank "Tug" McGraw, professional baseball player. That was just the first in a long line of surprises for the young Tim McGraw.
He graduated from high school salutatorian and was accepted to the University of Louisiana on a baseball scholarship. While studying sports medicine, Tim began playing at night clubs to earn extra cash. Having always loved musical theater and performance in school, Tim found himself a natural crowd pleaser and, in 1989, he dropped out of school to move to Nashville, Tennessee. After playing the local club circuit for just a few years, Curb Records, a country music label, signed Tim to a contract. 1992 was an up and down year for the country no-name; his self-titled first album was largely ignored by critics and fans. He had minor popularity with his debut single, "Welcome to the Club," but by and large found no audience in a market flooded with Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson.
In 1994, Tim McGraw released his second album, appropriately titled Not a Moment Too Soon. Several of the singles rocketed to the country Top Ten; a few even crossed into the pop charts, including one of the greatest songs country music has seen in the last twenty years: "Don't Take the Girl." Soon Not a Moment had sold five million plus copies to become the best-selling country album of 1994. But even that was just a hint of the success to come.
The next year Tim released All I Want, a terrific pop-country album that topped chart after chart. "I Like It, I Love It" and "Maybe We Should Just Sleep on It" were two of the greatest sellers on the album, which sold over three million copies in its first year. All of this was terrific, but the greatest part of his most recent success was the '96 tour to promote the album. It was on this tour that Tim met and fell in love with rising country star Faith Hill. When the tour ended, the two were married and began the *ahem* work of creating their first child. Gracie Katherine McGraw was born just four days after her daddy's 30th birthday.
1997 brought more than one new arrival; a month later his fourth album, Everywhere, topped every chart in the United States for several weeks. Selling over four million copies off the bat, the lead single was a Tim McGraw/Faith Hill duet: "It's Your Love." The album produced four number-ones and two number-twos, including "Where the Green Grass Grows" and "Just to See You Smile."
The subsequent years brought hit after hit. Working as a team, Tim and Faith released duets and toured together, crossing over country and pop boundaries to the delight of fans worldwide. In 1998 their second child, Maggie Elizabeth, was born; in 1999 McGraw went triple-platinum with A Place in the Sun, followed by 2000's Greatest Hits album. In addition to solo success, Tim and Faith's duets frequently won praise from critics and fans. "Let's Make Love," their duet from Faith Hill's Breathe album, won the two of them a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.
2001's Set This Circus Down and 2002's Tim McGraw and the DanceHall Doctors have continued his streak of incredible fortune, topped only by Audrey Caroline, who was born in December 2001. Now the father of three and husband of a talented and gorgeous singer, Tim McGraw has recently released his eighth album, Live Like You Were Dying. The album's title track is a tribute to his now-deceased father, who passed away in January 2004. The song won both Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2004 Country Music Awards.
Having been featured in dozens of magazines, honored with Super Bowl appearances, receiving celebrity accolades, discovering and producing country's most recent debuts like JoDee Messina, and revelling in the success of a lifetime's hard work, it's hard to say what life is like for Tim McGraw. His humble style, boyish charm, and soulfully inspirational music combine to make him one of the most beloved men in country music. What's that like? In his own words, "As fast as it's moving, we know we've got the good life. We're very blessed, just very fortunate to have the things we have."
some information originates from timmcgraw.com