The success of the hit duet, “It’s Your Love,” by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, created a whirlwind of speculation around the recently married singers. With all the excitement surrounding the single, McGraw says lots of folks are asking him the same question: Could he and Hill become the George Jones and Tammy Wynette of the ‘90s?
“There has been quite a bit of pressure, and a lot of folks in Nashville think we’re going to become a duo that only sings duets and tours together,” McGraw says in a recent interview. “But we both have very successful individual careers and we’re very different artists who live different lifestyles. There are different management teams, different publicity people and different record labels for both of us. As artists, we’re very different in a lot of ways. I guess the success of the single also shows that in some ways as artists we’re very alike.”
If another project came along that could possibly include Hill, would McGraw refuse to work with his wife again?
“Faith and I are two very independent people,” he says. “But if a recording project comes along that we really like, we’re not going to be ashamed to do it. But as far as recording a duet album, I think that’s not going to happen. We would like to sing a song together every now and then, but as far as our careers becoming combined into a duet career, I don’t see that happening.”
McGraw and Hill were married last October and welcomed their first child, Gracie Katherine, on May 5. McGraw, the son of former major league pitcher Tug McGraw, says the two experiences have changed his outlook on life.
“I’m constantly thinking about the baby,” he says, “and I’ll admit that every little thought I have in regards to my personal life is about what’s best for her. She’s the single most important person in our lives now. Faith and I have really become closer since Gracie Katherine was born.”
For now, McGraw and Hill have intentionally kept their daughter out of the public eye. They have yet to release any photos of their daughter to the press and McGraw is not in any hurry to do so. Throughout the summer, he’ll be touring the country, playing festivals and fairs, while Hill stays at home with Gracie Katherine.
“The way I’ll work it,” McGraw says, “is if the tour schedule gets over three or four days out on the road away from my family, then I’m coming home to be with them. Family means a lot to me, even if it’ll be just for a day. Then I’ll fly back out to catch up with my band and crew to continue the tour.”
McGraw realizes that the rigors of touring with a country band and the constant demands of his busy summer schedule will make spending long periods of time with his family difficult.
“Luckily, I have a wife who knows everything there is to know about this business,” he says. “So there’s really no second guessing anything. If you really want to know what is motivating me these days, it’s supporting my family. I want to provide the best for my child. Faith knows exactly what I have to do. She knows you need help to keep your sense of balance between your career and personal life.”
McGraw, 30, feels his latest album, “Everywhere,” has broader appeal than his previous work. When the singer began searching for new material to record last year, he intentionally looked for songs he thought a more diverse audience could relate to.
“I don’t care where a song comes from,” he says, “I just want it to be a good song and a success on my album. Once you start finding good songs to record, the other songs start falling around the material you’ve already chosen. The album as a whole starts developing its own theme as you find songs that you like.”
And country radio likes the songs that Tim McGraw likes. His songs are among the most frequently played on the country airwaves. McGraw has a simple explanation for that. “Too many artists try to go way off the path and forget all about their strengths,” he says. “When I’m searching for new material to make an album, I’m not out looking to record a hit song. I want a hit, but I want songs that when you hear that song on the radio, you can’t think of anybody else except Tim McGraw singing it.”
McGraw co-produced much of the material on “Everywhere” and has scheduled studio time this summer to work on singer Jo Dee Messina’s second album. He realizes that one day the stage lights will grow cold and plans one day to shift from singing and touring to producing albums full time.
“The chance to create music has always motivated me,” he says. “That’s why producing records, that’s my future. When this career is over - and, knock on wood, let’s hope it won’t be over for at least 20 or 30 years” he adds with a laugh, “producing is something that I want to do.”
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