At 56 years old, Tim McGraw has this physical status:
McGraw came to the attention of Curb Records in 1990. After cutting a demo single, McGraw gave a copy to his father. A man who was friends with Curb Records executives heard the demo while driving with Tug one day and recommended that Curb contact the young singer. Several weeks later, he was able to play his tape for Curb executives, after which they signed him to a recording contract. McGraw made his debut with the single "What Room Was the Holiday In", which was released on March 29, 1991, and did not enter the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart upon its release. In a 2001 retrospective on McGraw's career in Billboard, a former program director for Nashville station WSM-FM said that he added the song to the station's playlist because it showed "undeniable promise", while another former program director at WXTU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recalled that McGraw's debut single was "terrible" but that he booked the singer to make an appearance at the station due to his father's fame.
Two years later in April 1993, McGraw released his debut album Tim McGraw, which was commercially unsuccessful and did not sell well. This is his only studio album not to achieve a music recording sales certification or to enter the Top Country Albums charts. Three more singles were released from Tim McGraw: "Welcome to the Club", "Memory Lane", and "Two Steppin' Mind". None made country Top 40 and the album itself did not chart. Both "Memory Lane" and "Tears in the Rain", another cut from the album, were co-written by Joe Diffie. "Memory Lane" had originally appeared on Keith Palmer's self-titled 1991 debut album.
McGraw's second album, entitled Not a Moment Too Soon, was much more successful than his self-titled debut, and it was the best-selling country album of 1994. Its first single, "Indian Outlaw", sparked controversy, as critics argued that it presented Native Americans in a patronizing way. Some radio stations even chose not to play it. However, the controversy helped spur sales, and the song became McGraw's first Top 10 entry on the U.S. country charts after getting as high as number 8. The song also peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album's second single, "Don't Take the Girl", became McGraw's first number one on the U.S. country charts, in addition to peaking at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also "helped cement his image as a ruggedly good-looking guy with a sensitive side." By year's end, the third single from the album, "Down on the Farm" peaked at number 2; after that, the album's fourth single, also its title track, became the singer's second number one song in early 1995. The fifth and final single "Refried Dreams" reached number 5. The album sold over 6 million copies, topping the Billboard 200 and Top Country Album charts. On the strength of this success, McGraw won Academy of Country Music awards for Album of the Year and Top New Male Vocalist in 1994. Billboard named Not a Moment Too Soon as the top country album of 1994 on Billboard Year-End.
McGraw's third studio album, All I Want, was released in 1995. Just like its predecessor, this album debuted at No. 1 on the country charts. The album even sold over 2 million copies in the United States and reached the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. The album's first single, "I Like It, I Love It", became McGraw's third number one on the American country charts and it also peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song also eventually became the goal song for the Nashville Predators once they began their inaugural season and since then has been left unchanged. The album's next two singles, "Can't Be Really Gone" and "All I Want Is a Life" (its partial title track) both made the top 5 at numbers 2 and 5, respectively. The fourth single, "She Never Lets It Go to Her Heart", gave McGraw his fourth number one on the U.S. country charts in 1996. Finishing off the singles was "Maybe We Should Just Sleep on It", which peaked at number 4.
In 1996, McGraw headlined the most successful country tour of the year, The Spontaneous Combustion Tour, with Faith Hill as his supporting act. Hill broke off her engagement to her former producer Scott Hendricks so that she and McGraw could start dating each other; they then married on October 6, 1996.
The singer's fourth album, 1997's Everywhere was released in 1997. It topped the country charts as well and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling 4 million copies. The album spawned six singles. Four of those singles - "It's Your Love" (a duet with Faith Hill), the title track, "Where the Green Grass Grows", and "Just to See You Smile" - reached number one on the country charts. The Country Music Association awarded Everywhere its Album of the Year award for 1997. At the 40th Grammy Awards, "It's Your Love" received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals and Best Country Song. Both "It's Your Love" and "Just to See You Smile" were the number one country songs of 1997 and 1998 according to Billboard Year-End charts; "Just to See You Smile" also set a record for the longest run on the country charts at the time, at 42 weeks. The album's other two singles, "One of These Days" and "For a Little While" both peaked at number 2.
McGraw's fifth album, A Place in the Sun, continued his streak in 1999, debuting atop both the US country and pop album charts and selling 3 million copies. Over 251,000 of those copies were sold during its first week, making this the singer's first number 1 opener on the Billboard 200. It produced another four number one hits on the U.S. country charts with "Please Remember Me", "Something Like That", "My Best Friend", and "My Next Thirty Years". "Some Things Never Change" peaked at number 7 on the charts. McGraw also contributed a song for the Grammy-winning tribute album to Bob Wills entitled Ride With Bob. A cover of "Milk Cow Blues", this song was recorded as a duet with Asleep at the Wheel, whom he had met while performing together at the George Strait Country Music Festival.
McGraw recorded two more duets with his wife in the late-1990s, both of which appeared on her albums. "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me", from her multi-platinum-certified 1998 album Faith, reached the Top 5 of the US country charts. Her follow-up album, 1999's Breathe, featured "Let's Make Love", which won a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration in 2000.
In 2000, McGraw released his first Greatest Hits album, which topped the country albums charts for nine weeks and sold nearly 6 million copies, making this 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 Garden. The tour was one of the top tours of any genre in the U.S. It was also the leading country tour of 2000.
While in Buffalo, New York, 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.
McGraw's sixth studio album, Set This Circus Down, was released in April 2001. It even spawned four number one hits on the country charts as well, this time with "Grown Men Don't Cry", "Angry All the Time" (with Faith Hill), "The Cowboy in Me", and "Unbroken". The singer provided harmony vocals for Jo Dee Messina's song "Bring On the Rain", which he also produced. That 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.
In 2002, McGraw bucked country music traditions by recording his seventh studio 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 in his 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. Their lineup includes:
The album debuted at No. 2 on the country albums charts, Its fourth and fifth singles "Real Good Man" and "Watch the Wind Blow By" both climbed to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. "She's My Kind of Rain" peaked at No. 2 in 2003, and "Red Rag Top" reached number 5. The album also features a cover of Elton John's early-1970s classic "Tiny Dancer", as well as duets with 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". "She's My Kind of Rain" also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Vocal Performance-Male at the 46th Grammy Awards.
His eighth album, 2004's Live Like You Were Dying, continued the singer's record of commercial success. The album's first single and its title track was dedicated to his father Tug McGraw, who died of a brain tumor earlier in the year, was an ode to living life fully and in the moment. The second single "Back When" was a paean to an easy nostalgia. In December 2019, McGraw spoke on stage at the annual End Well Symposium about why he wrote "Live Like You Were Dying" and his struggles with caregiving for his dying father. "Live Like You Were Dying" spent seven non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard and went on to become the top country song of 2004 on the Billboard Year-End charts. It also became one of the most awarded records by winning ACM Single and Song of the Year, CMA Single and Song of the Year, and a Grammy. "Back When" went to number one on the country charts as well. The album produced three more singles with "Drugs or Jesus", "Do You Want Fries with That", and "My Old Friend". "Drugs or Jesus" became McGraw's first single since 1993 to not ever reach within the Top 10 on the U.S. country charts, while "Do You Want Fries with That" and "My Old Friend" peaked at numbers 5 and 6, respectively.
In late 2004, his unlikely duet with hip hop artist Nelly on "Over and Over" 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 or R&B 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 charts in the United Kingdom, becoming McGraw's first hit single in Britain and Nelly's third number one hit in the country after "Dilemma" and "My Place". "Over and Over" also reached the top of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland, and the top 10 in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Romania, and Switzerland.
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.
In April 2006, McGraw and Hill began their 73-concert 55-city Soul2Soul II Tour, again to strong commercial acceptance. The tour grossed roughly $89 million and sold approximately 1.1 million tickets, making it the top-grossing tour in the history of country music. It was also named "Major Tour of the Year" by Pollstar, 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 Orleans to Hurricane Katrina relief.
McGraw, 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 studio album, Let It Go, on March 27, 2007. The album's first single, "Last Dollar (Fly Away)", peaked at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart. This marked McGraw's first No. 1 single since "Back When" in late 2004. The album debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Album charts, marking his fourth No. 1 album on the 200 charts and his ninth overall. 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 15, 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 U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at No. 35.
McGraw also produced the debut album of country music duo Halfway to Hazard. The duo's first single, "Daisy", peaked at No. 39 on the country charts in the summer of 2007.
In the summer of 2007, McGraw and Hill toured together once again in the Soul2Soul 2007 tour.
In the edition of January 18, 2008 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.
At the 2007 50th Annual Grammy Awards, McGraw received 5 nominations including Best Country Album (for Let It Go), Best Country Song (both for "If You're Reading This" and "I Need You"), Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (with "I Need You"), and Best Male Country Vocal Performance (with "If You're Reading This").
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 in his follow-up to Let It Go at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, California.
In July 2008, the album's sixth single and its title track, "Let It Go", was released to country radio. Following that, a seventh single, "Nothin' to Die For", entered the Country charts at No. 57 in late December. McGraw released his third greatest-hits package, Greatest Hits 3 on October 7, 2008. The album features 12 tracks. McGraw was set to debut a new song at the 2009 ACM Awards, but then canceled his performance; he was replaced by Blake Shelton, who sang "She Wouldn't Be Gone".
McGraw's twelfth studio album, Southern Voice, was released October 20, 2009, and led by the single "It's A Business Doing Pleasure With You", which was shipped to radio outlets in late June 2009.Southern Voice was argued to be McGraw's last album for Curb Records, following the dispute over releasing his third Greatest Hits collection back in October 2008 without his permission. McGraw did not approve of the release. On November 30, 2010, Curb Records released his fourth greatest hits compilation, Number One Hits.
On January 2, 2011, McGraw announced plans for his Emotional Traffic Tour featuring opening acts Luke Bryan and The Band Perry.Sirius XM announced on March 30, 2011, that they would be launching Tim McGraw radio, a commercial-free music channel devoted to McGraw's music, and featuring an in-depth interview with McGraw as well.
As of fall 2010, McGraw had finished work on the album Emotional Traffic, his last album with Curb Records. On May 13, 2011, Curb Records filed a breach-of-contract suit against McGraw. The label alleged that McGraw recorded tracks for his Emotional Traffic album too early prior to its delivery to the label. Several days later, McGraw filed a counter suit against the label seeking advance payment and recording-fund reimbursement, unspecified damages, and a jury trial. A trial was scheduled to begin in July 2012.
In November 2011, a judge granted McGraw permission to record music for another label, ending his relationship with Curb Records that began in 1990. A few hours after the ruling, Curb released "Better Than I Used to Be", the second single from Emotional Traffic. The album was released on January 24, 2012.
In December 2011, McGraw released his first Christmas single, "Christmas All Over the World", on his own label StyleSonic Records. On May 21, 2012, however, he signed with Big Machine Records. McGraw's debut album for Big Machine, entitled Two Lanes of Freedom, was released on February 5, 2013. It debuted at number 2 on the charts by selling 108,000 copies. The album includes the singles "Truck Yeah", "One of Those Nights", "Highway Don't Care" (a duet with Taylor Swift which also features Keith Urban on lead guitar), and "Southern Girl".
McGraw performed at the C2C: Country to Country festival in London on March 16, 2013.
McGraw released a single titled "Lookin' for That Girl" in January 2014 as the lead-off single to his second album for Big Machine. It was followed immediately by the announcement of the Sundown Heaven Town Tour. The album, titled Sundown Heaven Town, was released on September 16, 2014. Four months into its run, "Lookin' for That Girl" was withdrawn as a single and replaced with "Meanwhile, Back at Mama's", which features backing vocals from Hill. "Shotgun Rider" became the album's third single and a number 1 Country Airplay hit by the end of 2014. Following it was "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools", a duet with Catherine Dunn.
McGraw's eighth greatest hits album, Love Story, is a compilation of his twelve biggest love songs and two previously unreleased recordings. It was released exclusively through Walmart on February 4, 2014, by Curb Records.
On August 10, 2015, McGraw released a new single to digital retailers, titled "Top of the World", which was later released to radio on August 17, 2015, as the lead single to his third studio album for Big Machine Records. On September 17, McGraw announced that the album was titled Damn Country Music, with a release date scheduled for November 6. The album's second single, "Humble and Kind", released to country radio on February 1, 2016, and went on to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts. McGraw was selected as one of 30 artists to perform on "Forever Country", a mash-up track of Take Me Home, Country Roads, On the Road Again and I Will Always Love You which celebrates 50 years of the CMA Awards. The album's third single, "How I'll Always Be" released to country radio on July 11, 2016. It reached number 3 on the Country Airplay in January 2017.
On October 4, 2016, during a show at the Ryman Auditorium, McGraw and Hill announced that they would be going back on the road together again on the Soul2Soul World Tour. The tour began on April 7, 2017, in New Orleans and will continue into 2018, incorporating the C2C: Country to Country festival held in the UK and Ireland throughout March 2018.
Before the commencement of the tour, it was reported that McGraw, alongside Hill, had signed a new deal with Sony Music Nashville. The signing also indicated the release of a duet album between the couple, and that multiple solo recordings would be produced. The new record label signing also preceded the release of "Speak to a Girl", the lead single from the duet album, The Rest of Our Life, which was released on November 17, 2017. The release of the album coincided with the opening of an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum titled Mississippi Woman, Louisiana Man, which celebrates the careers of both McGraw and Hill.
McGraw released two major best-selling books in 2019, with the first co-written with "Pulitzer Prize" winner Jon Meacham which reached No. 2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation. New York: Random House. 2019. ISBN 978-0593132951. His second book, "Grit and Grace", also reached No. 2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
In February 2020, McGraw rejoined Big Machine Records, which he was previously signed to from 2011 to 2017. He released a new album, Here on Earth, on August 21, 2020. The "Here on Earth Tour" was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2021, McGraw released the single "Undivided" with Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, which was included on a deluxe edition of Here on Earth released later that year.
On October 9, 2021, McGraw confronted a heckler at a performance at the Nugget Events Center in Sparks, Nevada, after he forgot the words to his song "Just to See You Smile." After removing the heckler, he explained that he had been filming a movie and had a lot on his mind, and asked for the audience's help in remembering the words.
McGraw's first acting appearance came in a 1997 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 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 (No. 37) by Entertainment Weekly.
McGraw's first lead role was in the 2006 film Flicka, which was released in theaters 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 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 Fame. His star is located at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard near stars 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 success in the DVD market, and has sold over a million copies, debuting at No. 3 on the DVD sales chart.
McGraw also had a small part in the Michael Mann–produced 2007 film The Kingdom, reuniting him with Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg. McGraw played a bitter, angered widower whose wife was killed in the terrorist attack that is the centerpiece of the movie.
On November 22, 2008, McGraw made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live. He also played "Dallas McVie" in Four Christmases.
McGraw appeared in the 2009 film The Blind Side as Sean Tuohy, husband of Sandra Bullock's character, Leigh Anne Tuohy. The Blind Side is based on the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in and adopted by the Tuohys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. For her performance, Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
He is among the stars of Dirty Girl, a film that premiered on September 12, 2010, at the Toronto Film Festival, along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy and Dwight Yoakam.
Also in 2010, McGraw starred in Country Strong as James Canter, the husband and manager of the fictional country singer Kelly Canter (portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow). In addition to his appearance in the film, McGraw's song "Me and Tennessee", a duet with Paltrow, was played during the closing credits.
In 2015, McGraw appeared in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland as Eddie Newton, a NASA engineer, and Casey Newton's (played by Britt Robertson) father.
1883, a spinoff prequel to Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone television series was released in late 2021 and stars McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliot.