Tim McGraw, born as Samuel Timothy Smith, is a country music singer and actor who has achieved many number one singles on the country charts and sales of over 25 albums, leading him to achieve total album sales in excess of 40 million units. Thanks to a string of multi-platinum albums and a high-profile marriage to fellow superstar Faith Hill, together with country-rock tunes positioned him as the most popular male singer in country music. Samuel Timothy McGraw was born in Delhi, LA, on May 1, 1967. Though he didn't know it until years later, his father was baseball player Tug McGraw, a star relief pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets who'd had a brief affair with McGraw's mother. He was raised mostly in the small town of Start, LA, near Monroe, and grew up listening to a variety of music: country, pop, rock, and R&B.
He attended Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship, studying sports medicine, and it was only then that he started playing guitar to accompany his singing. He played the local club circuit and dropped out of school in 1989, heading to Nashville on the same day his hero Keith Whitley passed away. He sang in Nashville clubs for a couple of years and landed a deal with Curb in 1992. His debut single, the minor hit "Welcome to the Club," was released later that year, and his self-titled debut album appeared in 1993 but failed to even make the charts. The second album Not a Moment Too Soon went on to become the best selling country album in 1994. Even though some radio stations refused to play the first single, "Indian Outlaw", it went to the top of the playlist at the clear channel KTNN.
The second single, the ballad "Don't Take the Girl", reached the top of the country charts as did the title track in 1995. "Down on the Farm" reached number two and "Refried Dreams" reached the top 5. The album sold over 5 million copies, topping the Billboard 200 as well as the country album charts. He won Academy of Country Music awards for Album of the Year and Top New Male Vocalist in 1994. McGraw's follow-up, 1995's All I Want, immediately consolidated his stardom with the number one smash "I Like It, I Love It." The album topped the country charts, reached the pop Top Five, and sold over two million copies.
Over 1996, McGraw supported the album with an extensive tour, accompanied by opening act Faith Hill. In October, after the tour was over, McGraw and Hill married, in a union of country star power that drew plenty of attention from mainstream media.
McGraw's next album, Everywhere, released in 1997 again topped the country charts and reached number two on the album charts, selling 4 million copies. Four singles ("It's Your Love", "Everywhere", "Where the Green Grass Grows" and "Just to See You Smile") reached the top of the country charts from the album. The Country Music Association awarded Everywhere its Album of the Year award for 1997. A Place in the Sun in 1999 continued McGraw's success. 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 Garden. It was one of the top tours of any genre in the US and the leading country tour during 2000. 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".
Tim McGraw was released in late 2002 and produced Top Ten hits in "Red Rag Top" and "She's My Kind of Rain"; it also featured a startlingly faithful cover of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." 2004's Live Like You Were Dying continued McGraw's record of commercial success. 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. In a special gesture, the couple donated all of the profits from their performance in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina relief. Tim's twelfth studio album, Southern Voice, was released in 2009 and lead by the single "It's A Business Doing Pleasure With You," which was shipped to radio outlets first.
Huge supporter of President Bill Clinton and other Democrats, in 2006 McGraw reaffirmed his plans for running for public office. McGraw has also helped out with charity events, as his success has grown, he has become increasingly interested in giving back to the community.