The Story Of Tim McGraw And Faith: 21 Years Of Love And Success Ended With A Huge Announcement
With earnings of almost $150 million and properties around the world, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are some of the biggest names in country music. They managed to stay married to each other and keep their spark alive even after all these years. Their individual earnings allow them to live a comfortable life with their kids, and theirs looks like a charmed life. Of course, there must be a secret to their strong marriage and it sure can’t just be their huge joint bank account… Believe it or not, they had some obstacles along their way, but looking at how they handled them, we can learn a thing or two from how this lovey-dovey couple treats each other. You didn’t actually think that things were all smooth-sailing for them, did you? Not by a long shot! And the biggest surprise didn’t come until many, many years down their shared path. Take a look and see if it’s as shocking to you, as it was for us…
Fast Times in Nashville
Back in 1994, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were like many other musicians trying to make it as country superstars. While both had recorded successful debut albums, they had dreams of even bigger earnings like country legends Johnny Cash or Reba McEntire. Tim and Faith first made each other’s acquaintance at a music festival in Nashville and while we can’t be sure what sparked their connection, it may have been their shared difficulties in childhood. Tim spent the first 18 years of his life believing that his stepfather was his biological father, while Faith was adopted at birth and lied to about her biological mother’s reasons for giving her up.
Crossing Paths on Tour
Whether it was their music or their family histories that helped them bond, Hill and McGraw had established such a connection by 1996 that they went on tour together. In the ’90s, touring was a major source of income for musicians, sometimes pulling in even more money than record sales. McGraw headlined the Spontaneous Combustion Tour, which made stops in 100 cities across the U.S. and ended up being the top-selling country tour of the year. Faith was an opening act for Tim, but it wouldn’t be long before the pair began collaborating more closely.
Bizarre Love Triangle
When the Spontaneous Combustion Tour kicked off in March 1996, Faith Hill was engaged to Scott Hendricks, a fellow musician who had produced some of her first singles. Tim McGraw, on the other hand, had recently ended an engagement with Kristine Donahue. Despite this complicated arrangement, which at one point had allegedly included double dates between the two couples, Hill and McGraw grew closer. Ex-fiancé Donahue would later resurface in 2016 when the tabloid site Radar Online reported that Tim had given her a loan to help sustain her small business; McGraw has since denied the claim.
Together at Last
After many weeks on the road with the Spontaneous Combustion Tour, Faith and Tim acknowledged their attraction to each other. After she accepted an invitation to come to his dressing room after a show, the two shared their first kiss; and while Faith hadn’t yet recorded her gold-certified 1998 single This Kiss, we wonder whether some of its early lyrics or melodies were running through her head during their encounter. McGraw and Hill weren’t the first country singers to hook up while on tour – June Carter and Johnny Cash got together on the road in the ’60s while Joan Baez and Bob Dylan cozied up at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963.
An Unexpected Surprise
After breaking the news that they’d become a couple, Faith and Tim received some news of their own in mid-1996: Faith was pregnant with Tim’s child. Having realized how compatible they were, the two happily welcomed this addition to their lives. Having had complicated childhoods themselves (Faith was adopted and Tim found out at 18 that his real father was star MLB pitcher Tug McGraw), McGraw and Hill may also have looked forward to being able to provide a child with a degree of emotional stability and sound financial planning that they hadn’t enjoyed themselves.
Making It Official
Tim and Faith were close to wrapping up the Spontaneous Combustion Tour in Colorado when he resolved to pop the big question. In a video posted to Facebook in 2015, McGraw recalled how he asked Hill to marry him after she completed her set. Her answer came after he was done performing, written in lipstick on a mirror in their backstage trailer: she said yes. Having built up a large fan base by now (and an even bigger net worth), the country power couple made plans to marry in between scheduling recording sessions and future tour dates.
The Happy Couple
Although they were certainly making money at the time, Faith and Tim’s wedding was a no-frills affair. Rather than drawing media attention, the couple invited friends and family to what they claimed would be a softball game; the event turned out to be a simple but meaningful ceremony in McGraw’s hometown of Rayville, Louisiana. Faith wore a classic white dress over her 3-month baby bump, while Tim presumably spent much less time shopping for his jeans-and-suit jacket combo. The marriage cemented their status as the First Couple of country music.
And Then There Were Three
In May 1997, Faith and Tim welcomed the child who’d been the impetus for their marriage. Gracie Katherine McGraw was born on May 5th and was the first of the couple’s three daughters. The milestone was particularly significant for Hill, who was adopted shortly after birth by factory worker Ted Perry and bank teller Edna Perry, a couple in Star, Mississippi. For years, Faith was told that her biological mother put her for adoption because she was the product of an affair with a married man; in her adulthood, Faith found out that this story had been invented to conceal the fact that her birth parents did, in fact, marry and raise another child.
Faith Hill was reunited with her birth parents and their second child, her full brother, in the early ’90s. The experience was profound, as Faith realized she inherited not only her mother’s good looks but her artistic talent as well. Unfortunately, the life-changing event also transformed Faith so much that it effectively ended her marriage to music industry executive Daniel Hill, from whom she took her stage name. Perhaps as a result of her difficult upbringing, Hill embraced motherhood early on. She has often spoken about her family as her “foundation.”
Faith Takes Some ‘Me’ Time
Not long after their first daughter Gracie was born, Faith Hill took some time off from touring and recording. Of course, the chart-topping artist was fortunate enough to take this extended maternity leave without any fears of bankruptcy – but that didn’t mean that Hill was entirely idle during her time away from the industry. In 1997, Faith and Tim recorded their first single together, It’s Your Love; the song was a number one hit for six weeks and won two awards. During this period, Hill also became pregnant with the couple’s second daughter.
The Consequences Of Grabbing Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw hasn’t always had positive news about him because he has already been faced with some legal problems. A video of him lashing out at a fan who grabbed his legs during his concert went viral and McGraw had to face the consequences. McGraw stated during an interview that he was just caught off guard and reacting to the woman’s sudden actions. He never intended to hit her in any kind of way. To avoid going to court and gaining even more bad publicity, reports have said that McGraw and the fan had reached a settlement. We’re not sure if he had to give her money or if she settled for a simple meet and greet. Either way, she must have been thrilled!
The Awards Pour In
It’s Your Love, which pays testament to the couple’s passionate and committed relationship, was released as the first single from Tim’s 1997 album Everywhere. The couple also recorded a video, in which a soulful Tim and a pregnant Faith harmonize with each other in an empty theater. The song was a hit, topping charts in the U.S. and Canada and winning Song Of The Year and Video Of The Year at the 1997 Academy of Country Music Awards. It’s Your Love has also paid dividends for Tim and Faith in the form of royalties, as it was featured in the video game Karaoke Revolution Country.
Faith Blows America A Kiss
Creatively and personally refreshed by her time away from the music industry, Faith Hill returned to country in 1998 with a self-titled album. The release was a crossover hit and introduced Hill’s biggest single to date, This Kiss. It also featured a duet between Faith and Tim, Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me, which had been recorded three years earlier by signer Chynna Phillips. Faith sold six million copies and, while Hill could easily have gone into retirement from its proceeds, the album led to a tour and a follow-up with 1999’s Breathe.
The Family Keeps Growing
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were incredibly busy juggling their careers with family life in the late ’90s, so much so that Faith filmed the video for their duet Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me with newborn daughter Maggie sitting in her lap. Nevertheless, the couple forged ahead with plans to expand their clan. Thanks to a solid relationship and some of the best supplemental child care money can buy, Faith and Tim welcomed their third and final daughter Audrey in late 2001. In a 2004 interview with Larry King, McGraw said he believed girls were harder to raise than boys.
Back On The Road
Although Faith had opened for Tim on the Spontaneous Combustion Tour back in 1996, the couple delighted fans in 2000 by announcing that they’d be headlining their first tour together. Soul2Soul made 65 stops between July and December 2000 and showcased music from Faith’s hit album Breathe and Tim’s A Place in the Sun. The nearly sold-out tour also featured video montages of their family life together. Their time together on the road not only gave a boost to Hill and McGraw’s relationship but grew their savings accounts as well: total ticket sales grossed a whopping $50 million.
Dear Old Dad
These days, Tim McGraw is proud of his famous dad’s legacy and has even taken his last name. For most of his childhood, though, the singer thought his stepfather was his biological parent. Tim’s mother Betty grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where her parents rented a room to Suns pitcher Tug McGraw. When Betty became pregnant with Tug’s child, though, her traditional parents sent her to live with relatives in Louisiana; Tim was born and raised in the state without child support payments from Tug. This ambivalent relationship with his family may account for McGraw’s appreciation for the family he and Hill have created.
A Good Cause
Faith Hill has frequently spoken to interviewers about her admiration for her husband Tim as a husband and a father. She had a good relationship with her own adopted father Ted but was aware of how his illiteracy created disadvantages growing up. Of course, Hill grew up to find creative fulfillment and a career in Nashville, but once she’d attained serious success, she established a charity in his honor. The Faith Hill Family Literacy Project brings used children’s books to schools across the country to fight childhood illiteracy.
All In The Family
When Faith Hill first met her biological brother Zachary White in 1993, he’d been struggling with addiction for several years, resorting to petty theft to support his crack cocaine habit. And while Faith herself never spoke publicly about their relationship or his troubles, Zachary himself told the National Enquirer that he owed his recovery to Hill and McGraw. Telling reporters “If it weren’t for them, there’s no telling where I’d be now,” White may have been hinting at a loan or some other form of debt relief on the part of his famous sister and her husband.
Sharing The Stage
Hill and McGraw have been protective of their daughters, largely keeping them out of the spotlight. Faith has spoken to People about the importance of instilling a good work ethic in Gracie, 20, Maggie, 19, and Audrey, 16. At the same time, the couple didn’t hesitate to bring Gracie on stage in Nashville in 2015 to join Tim in a rendition of his single Here Tonight. Gracie is currently a student at New York University, while Maggie attends Stanford in Palo Alto; Audrey is still in high school. With their solid education and good upbringing, it seems certain that these kids won’t let their trust funds get in the way of their values.
Keeping Things Exciting
They’ve been performing together for over two decades now, but Tim McGraw and Faith Hill still admit to some nervousness when on stage. After singing The Rest of Our Life live at the 2017 Country Music Association Awards, the couple told a reporter for USA Today that they’d felt some jitters. Nevertheless, Faith and Tim make it look easy and their chemistry when singing together is undeniable. After the huge success of their Soul2Soul Tour in 2000, they teamed up again for Soul2Soul II in 2007 and again for the Soul2Soul World Tour in 2017. Receipts for the most recent tour totaled over $79 million, so it’s a safe bet that Faith and Tim are paying much different taxes than the rest of us these days!