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Tim Mcgraw Country Star

Tim McGraw

He has a perfect life, and he couldn't complain. Could a successful country star who sold over 25 million albums and who is married to a beautiful music performer Faith Hill, with whom he has children, ask for more? "When it came time to record his new record, Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw knew just what he wanted. He was, after all, coming off the extraordinarily successful Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors, which he and his longtime touring band had recorded in a mountaintop studio in upstate New York. The natural and creative atmosphere, the isolation that allowed them to concentrate fully on the music, and the attendant camaraderie all beckoned him to return. It was a decision that began paying off the moment they drove up. "It was like going away to summer camp," he says. "You've got all these guys that are your best friends who you've traveled around with forever and you go to the top of this great mountain, with snow outside and fireplaces inside. We were actually giddy about getting there." Capping it all is the fact that collectively they produced an album that has already given Tim's incredible career another stellar moment. The CD's first single and title track, "Live Like You Were Dying," became one of his fastest-to-the-top singles ever. The Tim Nichols/Craig Wiseman-penned smash is, among other things, testament to Tim's long-proven ability to tap Nashville's best writers for their most profound and touching work. "It's just a great song," he says. "Probably anybody could have recorded it and had a big hit, but it helps that we're in a great place in our career--things just seem to keep getting better. Five years ago I figured we were at the top of our game and that was the best it was going to get, but with every album it seems to keep on building on itself." Collectively, Tim's achievements are as remarkable as they are numerous: 9 albums spawning 23 #1 singles and selling 30 million copies, tours that consistently rank near the top in financial and entertainment terms, and scores of awards and among those a 2001 CMA Entertainer of the Year nod, a Grammy and the 2004 People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Musical Performer. He is one of only three men ever to grace the cover of Redbook, his NBC Live Concert Special in 2002 ranked higher than specials by U2 and Paul McCartney, he was the headline act at the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Concert, and on October 15, 2004 he makes his major motion picture debut with a role in the Universal/Imagine film "Friday Night Lights" with Billy Bob Thornton.

Many artists have achieved great longevity or amazing levels of success, but Tim's career has indeed been remarkable for the way in which both have been intertwined for so long. That makes Tim's decision to reinvent a major portion of that career, combining road and studio into a seamless whole, that much more impressive. For Tim, though, the logic lies in the results. "Using the band on the records brings a new kind of honesty to the sound and makes what we do on stage that much purer to the vision we had originally," he says. "It is also a huge comfort being in the studio with those guys and singing to their tracks. We brought a confidence level into recording this time. We knew we could make a great record because we had the confidence of the last album. We were then able to go further, take it to another level." That comfort and honesty show throughout the 16-song collection (there is also a bonus track). Drawing on some of the genre's best writers, including Rodney Crowell, Bruce Robison, Casey Beathard, Anthony Smith, Bob DiPiero and Don Schlitz, Tim and the Doctors journey through a range of styles and emotions, with their years as a working unit holding it all together. Tim, long-time producer Byron Gallimore and second-time producer/Dancehall Doctor Darran Smith produced the record and for the first time Tim and Byron mixed it as well to maintain a sound that was true to the visions of the band.

"This record has a really personal feel to it," he says. "It's almost a tapestry of life, not just for us but in general, and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it, and will be able to jump into this record and flow downstream with it." That ability to connect emotionally with an audience is on display throughout Live Like You Were Dying. It's an ability that begins with his selection process.

"'Walk Like A Man,' for instance, is a song that probably hits home with a lot of people," he says. "It certainly touches on some of my growing up. It's a really personal song in a lot of ways, but you can say there's something personal about every song." Other favorites include "Back When,” "Blank Sheet Of Paper," written by his friends the Warren Brothers with Don Schlitz ("That's one of the most unique angles I've ever heard in a song, from the point of view of a blank sheet of paper") and "Kill Myself," which Tim describes as "probably my favorite song I've ever done." "My Old Friend" has become a concert highlight, thanks to an accompanying video presentation. "My friend Danny Knight, an Army chaplain I met through Faith, began sending us really cool pictures when he was in Afghanistan and then Iraq," says Tim. "We matched a lot of them up with the song, and putting them in the show makes for a great moment. It says something cool about Danny, and it's a tribute to a friend who puts his life on the line." It is the kind of moment that has long defined Tim, both in concert and on CD. Whether the song is poignant or raucous, Tim's connection with his audience is undeniable. It has been that way since he first hit paydirt in 1994 with "Indian Outlaw," a time-tested crowd-pleaser in his live shows. He had grown up in Start, Louisiana, finding out by accident when he was 11 that baseball great Tug McGraw was his father. McGraw's death earlier this year, in fact, coincided with the beginning of work on "Live Like You Were Dying," a song made infinitely more poignant for Tim by the coincidence. "We were rehearsing when Tug was sick," says Tim, "and he died at the beginning of January. We were in the studio at the end of January, and we recorded this around 11:00 or 12:00 at night and everybody just poured a lot of heart and soul into it. I think you can hear that on the record." Sports and music competed for Tim's attention growing up, but by the time he was in college, he had chosen music. He played solo in regional nightspots, then headed to Nashville, where he joined the throng of young hopefuls vying for attention. His on-stage charisma helped land him a record deal, and his debut album hit the stores in April 1993. He and his band--many of whom are still with him--took to the road to hone the sound that continues to make his concerts among the industry's most exciting. With "Indian Outlaw," the hits started coming, spawning multi-platinum albums and sell-out concerts.

In 1996, Tim's Spontaneous Combustion tour found him paired with Faith Hill, whom he married before the year was out. Together and separately they have remained among the most successful artists in every genre ever since, and to this day, Tim plans his tours around family life and school schedules. For all the success and accolades that have come his way, you can hear in his voice that this is the key to real happiness in his life. "Gracie'll be going into second grade this year, which seems absolutely amazing to us," he says, "because we can remember when we couldn't believe they were actually letting us take this child home. We wondered, 'Do they know what they're doing?' Maggie's in first grade now and Audrey is two. 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."

Mcgraw was born on May 1, 1967, in Delhi, Louisiana.

Tim McGraw Leads Nominees for Country Music Awards

Singer Tim McGraw led the list of Academy of Country Music Awards nominees announced on Thursday, receiving nominations in six categories.

McGraw's chart-topping "Live Like You Were Dying" was in the running for Album of the Year, while the title track was nominated for Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year. The Grammy award-winning singer was also vying for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist.

The album's title track is a poignant song about the changes a man makes in his life after becoming ill. According to the Web site http://www.timmcgraw.com, Tim's father, former Major League pitcher Tug McGraw, died as the singer began work on the tune last year.

Artists Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss and Gretchen Wilson each received five nominations. Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban garnered four apiece.

Brooks & Dunn, Chesney, Keith and Keith Urban are also competing for Entertainer of the Year.

Alan Jackson, Chesney, Keith and Urban were the other nominees for "Top Male Vocalist." "Top Female Vocalist" contenders include Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack and Wilson.

The 40th annual awards will air May 17 on CBS-TV from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Discuss "Friday Night Lights"

Grammy Award-winning singer Tim McGraw shows off his acting skills in the football drama, "Friday Night Lights," starring Billy Bob Thornton. Following one complete season of the Permian Panthers from Odessa, Texas, "Friday Night Lights" features some of the most realistic football action in a feature film while never losing sight of the real people at the heart of the story.

In a role that's a serious stretch for the nice-guy singer/actor, Tim McGraw plays the alcoholic, abusive father of one of the Permian football players. Tim McGraw's character is a former athlete, a tough guy who relives his own football glory through his son and shows no mercy when his son's performance on the gridiron doesn't live up to his expectations.

Fans may have a tough time getting over the shock of seeing their favorite country star play such an unlikable character, but director Peter Berg knew McGraw could be believable in the role. Producer Brian Grazer wholeheartedly backed the casting choice, having met Tim McGraw once before while working on "The Grinch." While the role's a drastic departure from McGraw's good-guy image, after watching the movie it's easy to see what Berg and Grazer saw in the singer that made him the perfect choice to play the film's only real bad guy.

INTERVIEW WITH TIM McGRAW AND FAITH HILL:

You play a very rough character, unlikable and totally different from your public persona. How hard was it to play a guy like this?
TIM McGRAW: For me, it would have been harder to play a role that was closer to my personality. I think that Charlie Billingsley, who was opposite to my personality, it was easier for me not to get involved. I think if it was a character that was closer to me, it would have been a different story.

How hard was it to see him play this character?
FAITH HILL: It wasn't him so I totally separated the two. It was difficult to watch someone so [destructive] onscreen. And he did an incredible job. I didn't think it was him. I don't see that in him.

Are you surprised at how good an actor Tim is?
FAITH HILL: I’m not surprised at all. I knew that he’d do a great job. This particular role is a departure for sure, but I knew that he could do it - definitely - but he went beyond that.

Did you get any acting tips from Billy Bob Thornton?
TIM McGRAW: First off, Billy Bob’s probably the greatest actor of our generation. Anybody who has ever seen his movies knows that he is super talented. And I tried to get him to coach me but he wouldn’t do it. I think he was nervous (laughing).

Did you teach him anything about singing?
TIM McGRAW: I don’t need to tell him how to sing. If you listen to Billy Bob’s records, he doesn’t get credit for how good his music is.

Are there more movies in your future?
TIM McGRAW: I hope so. Billy Bob and I want to do [another] movie together. Faith and I want to do a movie. We’d love to do a movie together.

So you must have had a good time working on this movie.
TIM McGRAW: It was awesome. I mean, there’s some great football in the movie. We got to watch a lot of great football and throw the football around. But I didn’t want to step on the field with these guys. There were some [large guys] out on the football field.

But you can handle your own, can’t you?
TIM McGRAW: (Laughing) I’m 37 years old and I’m not stepping out there with those kids. Are you kidding me?

Speaking of football, who's your favorite team and why?
TIM McGRAW: The Titans. We love the Titans. And we’re Packers fans also because Brett Favre is one of our best friends. But we live in Tennessee so we’re Titans fans.

On Monday night when the Titans take on the Packers, who do you root for?
TIM McGRAW: I love Brett, I hope Brett does great, but the Titans have to win (laughing).

Alicia Keys And Tim McGraw To Play Grammy Awards

Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw are among the first performers announced for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards set to broadcast live February 13 on CBS. Also performing at the ceremony will be U2 and Green Day, with additional artists expected to be announced soon. Presenters for the Queen Latifah-hosted event will include Ellen DeGeneres, pop star Christina Milian and John Travolta.
Keys has snagged eight nominations, including Album of the Year and Best R&B Album for the Diary Of Alicia Keys.
McGraw is nominated for two awards -- Best Country Album for Live Like You Were Dying and Best Male Country Vocal Performance for the set's title track.
U2 is up for three Grammys this year -- Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Rock Song and Best Short Form Music Video for "Vertigo.


McGraw: ''Lights' off -Limits to His Kids''

Tim McGraw says his turn as am alcoholic father in ''Friday Night Lights' off Limits to 3 daughters.
Plenty of people saw Tim McGraw's dark turn in his portrayal of an alcoholic father in the movie "Friday Night Lights." The country singer's three young daughters were not among them, however.

"I wouldn't want them to see Daddy like that and have them not be able to understand the difference," McGraw said of the film, which comes to video and DVD Tuesday.

The singer has three children, all under age 7, with wife and fellow musician, Faith Hill.

The movie was McGraw's first venture into Hollywood. It stars Billy Bob Thornton and received favorable reviews for its depiction of a high school football team in Texas.

McGraw, 37, says he drew from personal experience to play Charles Billingsley, the bullying father of a Permian Panthers player.

"I grew up in Louisiana and was around sports my whole life, so I always saw that kind of guy hanging around. It's an adaptation of a lot of people I knew growing up."

 

Country singer McGraw enjoys movie exposure

A lot of people saw Tim McGraw's dark turn as an alcoholic father in the movie Friday Night Lights.
Not the country singer's three young daughters.

"I wouldn't want them to see Daddy like that and have them not be able to understand the difference," McGraw said of the film, which comes to video and DVD Tuesday.

The movie, which stars Billy Bob Thornton, received favorable reviews for its depiction of a high school football team in Texas.

Critics also praised McGraw for his performance — only his second big-screen role (he had a small part in the independent film Black Cloud last year).

Some of his fans have offered their own opinions.

"A few people have come up to me and said, "You were a real (S.O.B)" I said, 'You ought to see me in real life.'"

McGraw, 37, says he drew from personal experience to play Charles Billingsley, the bullying father of a Periman Panthers player.

"I grew up in Louisiana and was around sports my whole life, so I always saw that kind of guy hanging around. It's an adaptation of a lot of people I knew growing up."

The part has led to other potential roles, the details of which McGraw is keeping under his cowboy hat for now.

While the singer says acting won't interfere with his "day job," he's clearly flattered that people recognize him for something other than his music.

"I've been a couple of places where people recognized me and didn't know I was a singer. They just saw the movie and liked it. I thought that was pretty cool."

 

Tim McGraw Has No New Year's Resolutions

Tim McGraw doesn't make New Year's resolutions. He tells Country Weekly magazine, "You can make these big resolutions and grand plans, but the decisions that you make a thousand times a day become the habits and the person that you form, and the direction that you take."

Tim McGraw On Nelly Duet: 'Nothin' Country About The Song, But It Was Fun'

St. Lunatic had no trouble choosing a country singer to duet with. Growing up in the Midwest, Nelly always had an affinity for country music. So when he had to choose a country singer to work with on his Suit LP, it was easy. He wanted Tim McGraw because, as Nelly reportedly told his manager, not only can the crooner sing, '' He a badass, he's got
game, and he's got a fine bitch!"

"That's what Nelly said, and I had to respect him for that," McGraw said recently in New York, laughing off the incident. While on a visit to the Big Apple, he detailed how he and Nells hooked up for their successful ballad, "Over and Over" (see "Nelly's Double Dose Features Mase, X-tina And ... Tim McGraw?").

"I love Nelly," McGraw said. "The first time I met him was when we played in a basketball game together in Atlanta a couple of years ago — when I smoked him pretty good. We always enjoyed each other and talked about working together. So he'd written this song and the first thing Nelly did was tell his manager to call me. If you know Nelly, he's such a great guy, I couldn't wait to work with him."

Although Nelly considers "Over and Over" — which has reached as high as #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart — "country," McGraw had a different idea when he heard the record.

"I get in there and say, 'It ain't nothin' country about this song,' " McGraw recalled. "But it was fun to get in there and sing with him. People are really liking the song, so we'll see what happens."

Nelly and McGraw have linked again to shoot a video for the song, but details are being kept on the down low by Universal Records. The clip is currently being edited.

 

Story Behind Tim McGraw's Song: "The Cowboy In Me"

Shortly after songwriter Jeffrey Steele came up with the title "The Cowboy in Me," he knew he didn't want the song to be about ranchers - he wanted it to have a larger meaning. "The more I looked at the title, the more I knew that it was going to be more than a song about a cowboy," he says.

"It was a song about things that people can't change about themselves, and about coming to grips with who you are, what you are in life and trying to make it better. It's about looking in the mirror at yourself and wishing you could be more and do more, yet also trying to be happy with what you have."

Armed with that, Jeffrey took his thoughts to a couple of songwriting buddies, Craig Wiseman and Al Anderson. Six hours later, the three had finished the tune.

"It was really cool," remembers Jeffrey. "It was one of those great songwriting experiences for me. When you're co-writing a song, it's really hard to get three guys to open up and get deep down into their own personal stuff. But we did, and it made for a great song. We didn't try to soften it up - we wanted it to have this realness and honesty to it." Tim McGraw instantly identified with the song's message.

"Tim only heard the first line of the song, and he shut the tape off and said, 'Let's cut it!' " Jeffrey says with a grin. "That really says a lot about him, but it says a lot about how powerful the idea of the song was to him at that time in his life, too. It was just after he had gotten into that [horse] trouble with Kenny Chesney. It made a lot of sense for him at that time. It was good timing."

"The Cowboy in Me" holds a special place in Jeffrey's heart for many reasons. Not only did it rocket to No. 1, but the tune also proved that songs of real substance can connect in a big way with radio listeners.

"I can't speak for the other guys, but for myself, that song was really about me," says Jeffrey, who's also co-written "When the Lights Go Down" for Faith Hill, "I'm Tryin' " for Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry's "My Town" and LeAnn Rimes' "Big Deal."

"It was my life - stuff that I had gone through and been through. I was trying to stay real to that. I always find that when I do that, I seem to have the best success."

Tim McGraw's 'Live Like You Were Dying' Film Right Bought

Producer Chuck Gordon has picked up movie rights to Tim McGraw's Grammy-nominated song Live Like You Were Dying for his Daybreak Productions.

The song, written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, is the title cut of McGraw's eighth studio album. It's the story of a man who begins to live life to the fullest after discovering he has a fatal illness.

McGraw recorded the song shortly after the death of his father, former Major League pitcher Tug McGraw. The song and the album received Grammy nominations last week in the country music categories.

Gordon said the film project won't center on the McGraws but on the broader theme of dealing with death.

Tim McGraw on Nelly

McGraw says it was fun to sing with Nelly. When St. Louis rapper Nelly hooked up with country singer Tim McGraw for the duet, "Over and Over," it seemed like an unlikely pairing. So how did the two get together?

McGraw told MTV, "I love Nelly. The first time I met him was when we played in a basketball game together in Atlanta a couple of years ago — when I smoked him pretty good. We always enjoyed each other and talked about working together. So he'd written this song and the first thing Nelly did was tell his manager to call me. If you know Nelly, he's such a great guy, I couldn't wait to work with him."

While Nelly considered "Over and Over' a "country" song, McGraw thought differently when he first heard the track. Says the country singer, "I get in there and say, 'It ain't nothin' country about this song.' But it was fun to get in there and sing with him. People are really liking the song, so we'll see what happens."

Tim McGraw receives 2 Grammy Nominations

Tim McGraw reacted to his Grammy nominations from his home in Nashville today, just an hour before heading to a party for his now Grammy nominated and 10 week No 1 song 'Live Like You Were Dying,' which also swept Single and Song of the Year honors at the recent CMA Awards.
'What a great way to complete this amazing year. I want to send special congratulations to songwriters Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols.'
McGraw received two Grammy nods for Album of the Year (Live Like You Were Dying) and Best Male Country Vocal Performance ('Live Like You Were Dying).
In addition, the songwriters of 'Live Like You Were Dying' garnered two nominations for Best Country Song and Song of the Year.

Tim McGraw On Indoor Vs. Outdoor Shows

McGraw says he likes packed shows best. This year Tim McGraw began his tour in big, outdoor venues...and finished it in large arenas. The question is which type of venue does he prefer

"They both have their good parts and their bad parts, I guess. Outside usually sounds really well and it's a lot more fun. Some of the inside places are really good, but some are pretty bad. But I don't have really a preference. You know, as long as it's packed, I don't care where I'm playing," Tim concludes.

" Who's making the headlines today?! "