Samuel Timothy McGraw was born May 1, 1967, in Delhi, Louisiana,
to Betty Smith (now Betty Trimble) and Tug McGraw. McGraw grew
up thinking that trucker Horace Smith, his mother's husband at
the time, was his biological father, but discovered who his real
father was after finding his birth certificate.
Tim's mother admitted that he was actually the result of a summer
romance with then minor league pitcher, Tug McGraw (who went on
to play with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies).
Raised in Start, Louisiana, a young Tim McGraw was raised with
the sounds of country musicians like Charley Pride and Johnny
Paycheck, and often took his musical skills to church and school
plays. Although McGraw was inspired by music early on, he was
also involved in little league and considered pursuing a professional
baseball career, taking after his father.
But by the time he was studying at Northeast Louisiana University,
he had a change of heart. He always had the voice, but after buying
a guitar at a pawnshop, McGraw knew music was his calling. He
dropped out of university in 1989 and headed to Music City, incidentally
the same day his musical idol Keith Whitely died.
As with most aspiring country stars, McGraw's success in Nashville
wasn't instantaneous. After playing gigs at Printers Alley clubs,
he finally landed a contract with Curb Records, the label that
released Tim McGraw's self-titled album in 1993 -- unfortunately,
After gaining positive recognition with live performances (especially
thanks to his rendition of Steve Miller's "The Joker"),
McGraw and his audience were primed for a new release, 1994's
single, "Indian Outlaw." The catchy tune with controversial
lyrics made a chart-topper of McGraw, despite being banned from
radio stations in several states.
On the strength of albums such as 1994's Not A Moment Too Soon
and 1995's All I Want -- the latter which spawned the hit single
"I Like It, I Love It" -- McGraw became a country music
sensation. But it was while on the Spontaneous Combustion tour
in 1996 with Faith Hill as the opening act when sparks literally
flew between Tim and Faith. The couple got married October 6 of
In 1997, McGraw's Everywhere was released, spawning number one
singles like "It's Your Love" (a duet with Faith Hill)
and "Just To See You Smile." Everywhere was true to
its name, as it crossed over to pop charts, garnered McGraw a
slew of awards, and made a veritable star of the singer.
1999 saw the release of the multi-platinum selling A Place in
the Sun, introducing the number one single "Please Remember
Me" to audiences. McGraw's latest offering, 2001's Set This
Circus Down, a year after the release of a Greatest Hits album,
proved to be just as magical for McGraw, who is enjoying his reign
as the most consistently successful male artist to emerge from
country music, at least where overall chart success is concerned.
That's no surprise considering the heap of awards McGraw has
stacked up, including at least six ACM Awards and two CMA awards;
a Grammy for "Let's Make Love" (another duet with Faith
Hill; do you notice a theme?); American Music Awards for Best
Country Album for Set This Circus Down and for Favorite Male Country
Artist (an honor he has claimed at numerous awards shows); a slew
of Radio Music Awards and Billboard Awards; and being named Play..boy's
Top Male Performer.
Tim McGraw's wife might have her share of male admirers, but
the female audience the cowboy hat-toting singer claims is equally
important -- he was even named "Sexiest Country Star"
by People magazine, in 2000.
When he's not making women's knees tremble, picking up awards,
or performing on tour, Tim McGraw dedicates himself to several
organizations through fundraising concerts, like "Swampstock,"
aimed at raising money for hometown little league, the 2000 USS
Cole Fund Benefit, to help the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society
USS Cole Fund, and the 1999 "Bread and Water Tour,"
raising money for charities within selected communities. The latter
occurred while touring on the George Strait Country Music Festival,
which McGraw lists among the greatest highlights of his career.
Tim McGraw and fellow country/pop star Faith Hill (and wife of
five years) reside just outside Nashville, with their three daughters,
Gracie Katherine, Maggie Elizabeth, and the newest addition to
the family, Audrey Caroline.