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Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw (born May 1, 1967) is an Americanmarker country singer and actor. Many of McGraw's albums and singles have topped the country music charts, leading him to achieve total album sales in excess of 40 million units. He is married to country singer Faith Hill and is the son of former baseball player Tug McGraw. His trademark hit songs include "Indian Outlaw", "Don't Take the Girl", "I Like It, I Love It", "Something Like That", "It's Your Love" (featuring his wife, Faith Hill), and "Live Like You Were Dying".

McGraw had eleven consecutive albums debut at Number One on the Billboard albums charts. Twenty-one singles hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country 100 chart. Three singles became the #1 country song of the year ("It's Your Love", "Just To See You Smile", and "Live Like You Were Dying"). He has won 3 Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards and 3 People's Choice Awards. His Soul2Soul II Tour with Faith Hill is the highest grossing tour in country music history, and one of the top five among all genres of music.

McGraw has ventured into acting, with supporting roles in the Billy Bob Thornton film Friday Night Lights and The Kingdom, a lead role in 2006's Flicka and a supporting role in Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. He was a minority owner of the Arena Football League's Nashville Kats. Taylor Swift's debut single, "Tim McGraw", refers to him and his song, "Can't Tell Me Nothin'".

Early life

Tim McGraw was born Samuel Timothy McGraw in Start, Louisianamarker, a town in Richland Parish, to a waitress, Elizabeth "Betty" Ann (née D'Agostino), and a relief pitcher for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, Frank Edwin McGraw Jr., also known as Tug McGraw. McGraw is of Italian and Irish descent on his mother's side and of Scots-Irish descent on his father's side. In 1966, Tug was a pitcher for the Jacksonville Suns who lived in an apartment above Betty D'Agostino, who attended Terry Parker High School. The pair had a relationship and when Betty became pregnant, her parents sent her to Louisiana to live with relatives and to have the baby.

Raised by his mother in Start, Louisianamarker, east of Monroemarker, McGraw grew up believing his stepfather, Horace Smith, was his birth father. At age eleven, McGraw discovered his birth certificate while searching his mother's closet to find pictures for a school project. After his discovery, his mother revealed that his biological father was Tug McGraw, and took Tim to meet him for the first time. For seven years, Tug denied being Tim's father. Tim was 18 years old when Tug first realized how much Tim looked like him at that age and acknowledged paternity. They remained close until Tug's death in 2004.

As a child, Tim McGraw loved to play competitive sports, including baseball, even though he did not know his biological father was a professional athlete. He attended Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana at Monroemarker, on a baseball scholarship and became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. During his college period, he learned to play guitar and would frequently perform and sing for tips, although he claims that his roommates often hid the guitar because he was so bad.

His mother, Betty, returned to Jacksonville, Floridamarker in 1987, and Tim followed. He attended Florida Community College at Jacksonville for one term, and occasionally sat in with local bands. In 1989, on the day his hero Keith Whitley died, McGraw dropped out of college to head to Nashvillemarker and pursue a musical career.


Greatest Hits

In 2000, McGraw released his Greatest Hits album which topped the charts for nine weeks and sold almost 6 million copies, making it one of the biggest selling albums in the modern country market. In the latter half of the year, he and Hill went out on the Soul2Soul Tour, playing to sellout crowds in 64 venues including Madison Square Gardenmarker. It was one of the top tours of any genre in the US and the leading country tour during 2000.

While in Buffalo, McGraw and Kenny Chesney became involved in a scuffle with police officers after Chesney attempted to ride a police horse. McGraw came to Chesney's aid after police officers nearby believed the horse was being stolen and tried to arrest him. The two were arrested and charged with assault, but were later cleared. During a concert with the George Strait Country Music Festival several weeks later, Hill, dressed as a police officer, made an unscheduled appearance at the end of McGraw's set and led him off the stage.

Set This Circus Down

McGraw's next album, Set This Circus Down, was released in April 2001 and spawned four number one country hits–"Grown Men Don't Cry", "Angry All the Time" (with Faith Hill), "The Cowboy in Me", and "Unbroken". He also provided harmony vocals for the Jo Dee Messina song "Bring On the Rain", which he also produced. The song topped the country charts.

Hungry for more of his music, fans downloaded a version of his performance of the song "Things Change" from his appearance at the Country Music Association Awards Show. The song was played extensively on radio, becoming the first country song to appear on the charts from a fully downloaded version.

Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors

In 2002, Tim McGraw bucked country music traditions by recording his album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors with his tour band The Dancehall Doctors. Unlike rock music, where it is commonplace for touring bands to provide the music on albums recorded by the artist they support, country albums are typically recorded with session musicians. McGraw chose to use his own touring band in order to recognize their part inhis success and to capture some of the feel of a real band.

All of the Dancehall Doctors have worked with McGraw since at least 1996. They include:
  • Darran Smith - Lead Guitar, Acoustic guitar
  • Bob Minner - Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
  • Denny Hemingson - Steel Guitar, Electric, Baritone, and Slide Guitars, Dobro
  • John Marcus - Bass guitar
  • Dean Brown - Fiddle, Mandolin
  • Jeff McMahon - Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Keyboards
  • Billy Mason - Drums
  • David Dunkley - Percussion.

The album debuted at number 2 on the country albums charts, with the single "Real Good Man" reaching number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. "She's My Kind of Rain" reached number 2 in 2003 and "Red Ragtop" reached the top 5. The album also featured a cover version of Elton John's early 1970s classic "Tiny Dancer", as well as appearances by Kim Carnes on "Comfort Me" - a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks - and Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles on "Illegal".

Live Like You Were Dying

2004's Live Like You Were Dying continued McGraw's record of commercial success. The title track, dedicated to his father Tug McGraw who died of a brain tumor earlier in the year, was a soaring ode to living life fully and in the moment, while the second single "Back When" was a paean to an easy nostalgia. Live Like You Were Dying spent seven non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard (10 weeks on Radio & Records) and went on to become the biggest hit single of the year. It also became one the most awarded songs/records by winning ACM Single and Song of the Year, CMA Single and Song of the Year and a Grammy.

In late 2004, his unlikely duet with hip-hop artist Nelly on "Over and Over", a soft ballad of lost love, became a crossover hit spending 10 weeks atop the Top 40 chart. "Over and Over" brought McGraw a success he had never previously experienced on contemporary hit radio, rap radio, and brought both artists success neither had previously experienced in the hot adult contemporary market. The song also spent a week at the top of the UK single charts, and was McGraw's first visit to the UK hit countdown.

Throughout the 2005 NFL season McGraw sang an alternate version of "I Like It, I Love It" every week during the season. The alternate lyrics, which changed each week, would make reference to plays during Sunday's games and the song would be played alongside video highlights during halftime on Monday Night Football. Later in the year McGraw became a minority owner of the Arena Football League's Nashville Kats when majority owner Bud Adams (owner of the NFL's Tennessee Titans) was awarded the expansion franchise.

Let It Go

In April 2006, McGraw and Hill began their 73-concert 55 city Soul2Soul II Tour, again to strong commercial acceptance. The tour grossed nearly $89 million and sold almost 1.1 million tickets, making it the top grossing tour in the history of country music. It was named "Major Tour of the Year" by the prestigious Pollstar Magazine, beating out such heavyweights as Madonna and the Rolling Stones. In a special gesture, the couple donated all of the profits from their performance in New Orleansmarker to Hurricane Katrina relief.

Tim, along with Kenny Chesney, contributed to a version of Tracy Lawrence's song "Find Out Who Your Friends Are", which can be found on Lawrence's album For the Love. Although the official single version features only Lawrence's vocals, many stations have opted to play the version with McGraw and Chesney instead.

McGraw released his eleventh album, Let It Go, on March 27, 2007. The album's debut single, "Last Dollar ", reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, marking Tim's first No. 1 single since "Back When" in late 2004. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and #1 on the Billboard Country Album chart, marking his 4th #1 top 200 album and 9th #1 country album. His daughters can be heard singing the chorus during the last few seconds of the song on the video.

During the Academy of Country Music awards show on May 21, 2007, McGraw performed a song titled "If You're Reading This", which he co-wrote with The Warren Brothers. Several radio stations began to play the live recording of the song; as a result, it entered the Hot Country Songs chart at #35.

McGraw also produced the debut album of country music duo Halfway to Hazard. The duo's first single, "Daisy", peaked at #39 on the country charts in Summer of 2007.

In the summer of 2007, McGraw and Hill toured together once again in the Soul2Soul 2007 tour.

In the January 18, 2008 edition of the USA Today newspaper, McGraw was stated to be featured on the Def Leppard album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, having also co-written the first single, "Nine Lives", with Def Leppard band members Joe Elliott, Phil Collen and Rick Savage. The unusual pairing goes back to 2006 when McGraw joined Def Leppard onstage for the song "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and then collaborated on the song "Nine Lives" afterward. The album was released on April 25, 2008.

In May 2008, he hit the road with the Live Your Voice tour. The mainly-outdoor arena concert tour was his first solo outing in nearly three years. Also in May 2008, he debuted a new song off of his follow-up to Let It Go at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, California.

In July 2008, Tim McGraw's sixth single, and the title track of his album, "Let It Go," was released to country radio. Following that, a seventh single, "Nothin' to Die For," entered the Country charts at 57 late December. Tim McGraw released his third greatest hits package, Greatest Hits 3 on October 7, 2008. The album features 12 tracks. Tim was set to debut a new song on the 2009 ACM Awards, but then cancelled his performance; he was replaced by Blake Shelton, who sang "She Wouldn't Be Gone".

Southern Voice

Tim's twelfth studio album, Southern Voice, was released October 20, 2009 and lead by the single "It's A Business Doing Pleasure With You," which was shipped to radio outlets in late June 2009.Southern Voice could be Tim's last album for Curb Records, following the dispute over releasing his third Greatest Hits collection back in October 2008 without his permission. Tim did not approve of the release.


McGraw's first acting appearance came in a 1995 episode of The Jeff Foxworthy Show, where he played Foxworthy's rival.

In 2004, McGraw played a sheriff in Rick Schroder's independent release Black Cloud. Later in the same year, McGraw received critical acclaim as the overbearing father of a running back in the major studio Texas high school football drama Friday Night Lights. The Dallas Observer said the role was "played with unexpected ferocity by country singer Tim McGraw." The movie went on to gross over $60 million dollars worldwide at the box office and sold millions in the DVD market. Most recently, it was named one of the Top 50 High School Movies of All Time (number 37) by Entertainment Weekly.

McGraw's first lead role was in the 2006 film Flicka, which was released in theatres October 20, 2006. In the remake of the classic book "My Friend Flicka", McGraw played the father, Rob, costarring with Alison Lohman and Maria Bello. The family-friendly movie debuted in the top 10 list and has grossed over 25 Million dollars at the box office. McGraw again achieved critical acclaim for his acting.

Shortly before Flicka opened, McGraw received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker. His star is located at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. near stars in the sidewalk honoring Julie Andrews, William Shatner and the late Greta Garbo. One of his Flicka co-stars, Alison Lohman, attended the ceremony that included comments from Billy Bob Thornton, McGraw's co-star in the film, Friday Night Lights.

In addition to acting in Flicka, McGraw served as executive producer of the soundtrack album, which was released by his record label, StyleSonic Records, in association with Curb Records and Fox 2000 films. It featured the closing credit song "My Little Girl", one of the first two songs that McGraw recorded that he also co-wrote (the other being "I've Got Friends That Do," both of which were included on Greatest Hits Vol. 2). The song was nominated by the Broadcast Film Critics for "Best Song" in a film, and the movie was nominated in the category "Best Family Film (Live Action). The movie proved to be another huge success in the DVD market and has sold over a million copies, debuting at number 3 on the DVD sales chart.

McGraw also had a small part in the Michael Mann-produced 2007 film The Kingdom. McGraw played a bitter, angered, widower whose wife was killed in the terrorist attack the movie revolves around.

On November 22, 2008, McGraw made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live. He also played "Dallas McVie" in Four Christmases.

His house appeared in an episode of CSI with special guest Taylor Swift.

McGraw appeared in the 2009 film The Blind Side, as Sean Touhy, husband of Sandra Bullock’s character, Leigh Anne Touhy. Blind Side is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in and adopted by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential.

Charitable efforts

As his success has grown, McGraw has become increasingly interested in giving back to the community. When McGraw first reached fame in 1994, he established his annual Swampstock event. It began as a charity softball game to raise money for hometown little league programs; the event now includes a celebrity softball game and a multi-artist concert that attracts over 11,000 fans per year. The combined events have funded new Little League parks, equipment and established college scholarship funds for students in the northeast Louisiana area.

From 1996–1999, McGraw hosted an annual New Year's Eve concert in Nashville with special guests including Jeff Foxworthy, the Dixie Chicks, and Martina McBride. The 1997 show raised over $100,000 for the Country Music Foundation Hall of Fame and Museum. Beginning in 1999, McGraw would pick select cities on each tour, and, the night before he was scheduled to perform, would choose a local club and host a quickly-organized show. This tour within a tour became known as "The Bread and Water Tour", and all proceeds from the show would go to a charity from that community.

In the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina, McGraw and his wife, who was raised in Mississippimarker, joined groups taking supplies to Gulfport, Mississippimarker. The two also hosted several charity concerts to benefit those who were displaced by the storm. Later in the year the couple established the Neighbor's Keeper Foundation, which provides funding for community charities to assist with basic humanitarian services in the event of a natural disaster or for desperate personal circumstances.

McGraw is also a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, in which various celebrities donate their time, skills, and fame to help the Red Cross highlight important initiatives and response efforts.

McGraw has helped out with charity events held by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. The Brett Favre Fourward Foundation has featured McGraw (and at other times Faith Hill) performing concerts during dinners and auctions that benefit children with disabilities in Wisconsin and Mississippi. One instance is recorded on Favre's official website.

On July 12, 2007, it was made public that McGraw and his wife Faith Hill, while in Grand Rapids, Michiganmarker for a performance, donated $5000 to Kailey Kozminski, 3 year-old daughter of Officer Robert Kozminski, a Grand Rapids police officer who was killed on July 8, 2007 while responding to a domestic disturbance.


McGraw, a Democrat, has stated that he would like to run for public office in the future, possibly for Senate or governor of Tennessee, his (adopted) home state. In the same interview, he praised former President Bill Clinton.


Studio albums

Compilation albums


Year Film Role Notes
2004 Black Cloud Sheriff Cliff Powers
Friday Night Lights Charles Billingsley Nominated - MTV Movie Award - Best Male Breakthrough Performace
2006 Flicka Rob McLaughlin Nominated - Critics Choice Award for Best Song: "My Little Girl"
2007 The Kingdom Aaron Jackson
2008 Four Christmases Dallas
2009 The Blind Side Sean Tuohy
Year Film Role Notes
1997 The Jeff Foxworthy Show Lionel one episode; "Feud for Thought"


Year Awards Award
2006 People's Choice Awards Top Male Performer
Grammy Award Country Vocal Collaboration - "Like We Never Loved At All" (with Faith Hill)
2005 American Music Awards Album of the Year -Live Like You Were Dying
American Music Awards Male Artist (country genre)
Academy of Country Music Song of the Year -"Live Like You Were Dying"
Academy of Country Music Single of the Year -"Live Like You Were Dying"
People's Choice Awards Favorite Country Male Artist
Grammy Award Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "Live Like You Were Dying"
Country Music Television Most Inspiring Video - "Live Like You Were Dying"
2004 People's Choice Awards Favorite Country Male Artist
Radio Music Awards Country Male Artist
CMA Single of the Year - "Live Like You Were Dying"
2003 American Music Awards (January) Favorite Country Male Artist
Radio Music Awards (January) Country Male Artist
American Music Awards (November) Favorite Country Male Artist
2002 American Music Awards Best Country Album - Set This Circus Down
American Music Awards Favorite Male Country Artist
2001 American Music Awards Favorite Male Country Artist
Grammy Awards Vocal Collaboration - "Let's Make Love (with Faith Hill)
CMA Entertainer of the Year
Billboard Awards Country Artist
Billboard Awards Male Country Artist
Billboard Awards Country Albums Artist
Billboard Awards Country Single Artist
Billboard Awards Country Album - Greatest Hits
2000 CMA Male Vocalist
National Fatherhood Initiative Father of the Year
Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist
Billboard Awards Male Artist of the Year
1999 Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist
Academy of Country Music Vocal Collaboration - "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" (with Faith Hill)
CMA Male Vocalist
CMA Album of the Year - A Place in the Sun
1998 Billboard Awards Country Single of the Year - "Just To See You Smile"
CMA Album of the Year - Everywhere
Academy of Country Music Single of the Year - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
Academy of Country Music Song of the Year - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
Academy of Country Music Video of the Year - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
Academy of Country Music Top Vocal Event - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
1997 Billboard Magazine Single of the Year - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
Country Music Television Video of the Year - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
Country Music Television Male Artist of the Year
Playgirl Magazine Top Ten, Sexiest Men of the Year
CMA Vocal Event - "It's Your Love" (with Faith Hill)
1995 American Music Awards Favorite New Country Artist
1994 Country Music Television Male Video Artist of the Year
American Music Awards Album of the Year - Not a Moment Too Soon
American Music Awards Top New Male Vocalist
Billboard Awards Top New Country Artist
Billboard Magazine Top New Country Album - Not a Moment Too Soon

Further reading

  • Brown, Jim, and Susan Sparrow. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw: Soul 2 Soul. Quarry Music Books, 2002. ISBN 1550822934
  • Gray, Scott. Perfect Harmony: the Faith Hill & Tim McGraw Story. 1st ed. Ballantine Books, 1999. ISBN 0345434129
  • McGraw, Tim. Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors: This is Ours. Atria Books, 2002. ISBN 074346706X
  • Nichols, Tim, and Craig Wiseman. Live Like You Were Dying. Rutledge Hill P, 2004. ISBN 1401602126
  • Trimble, Betty "McMom". A Mother's Story. D'Agostino/Dahlhauser/Ditmore Pub, 1996. ISBN 1886371326


  2. Florida Times-Union: April 23, 2004-Tim's mom survives, has a new dream
  3. Tim McGraw's Special Tribute
  4. Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This” Is In High Demand -- The 9513
  5. Briefly: Tim McGraw, Master P, Silkk the Shocker, Pete Doherty >> LiveDaily

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