Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are officially empty-nesters. The couple share three daughters — 26-year-old Gracie, Maggie, 24 and 21-year-old Audrey — who have all now left to live on their own, a reality that McGraw admits is bittersweet.
“It was tough at first, like the first six months,” McGraw concedes (via People). “I think it’s always harder on mom when the girls go away. It was pretty tough because it was empty and the energy of the house was sort of gone. And then after about six months, we sort of thought — when we got married, we had a kid right away, we had Gracie right away. And now we kind of like having our time to ourselves and it’s kind of honeymoon time again. So, we’ve quite enjoyed it!”
McGraw might be enjoying alone time with Hill, but getting there was an arduous task. The 56-year-old wrote about saying goodbye to one of his children,when he moved his eldest daughter out to Los Angeles. The Louisiana native captured those feelings in “Nashville CA/L.A. Tennessee,” the only song he wrote for his Standing Room Only album, out on August 25. Lori McKenna and Bob Minner wrote “Nashville CA/L.A. Tennessee” with McGraw, with McKenna joining him on the track.
“It came out of loading up my Cadillac Escalade, my 19-year-old Cadillac Escalade, taking all the seats out of it, loading all of her stuff in, and her and I doing a solo cross-country trip together to move her to L.A.,” McGraw remembers. “We had a great time on the trip, singing songs and playing music and stopping at cool places and spending time together. And then when I got [to Los Angeles], it was late at night and she was so ready to be here and so ready to get rid of Dad by that point!
“I unloaded all the stuff to where she was living, and she was like, ‘All right, Dad, I’m fine now! You can go,'” he continues. “And I kept lingering around, kept trying to move things around, trying to keep as much time with her as I could. And she finally gave me a big hug and says, ‘OK, Dad, I need you to go now!’ And then I just broke down and just started crying. … So, that song was born out of that road trip.”
McGraw may not have written all of the songs on Standing Room Only, but he has a personal connection to all of them, especially “Hey Whiskey.” The song, which condemns the impact of alcohol, is especially meaningful to McGraw, who has been sober since 2008.
“When I first heard it, it just blew me away, ’cause it made it a character,” McGraw says on Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen. “It’s your nemesis and your best friend, which is what that is, which is what addiction is. It’s your nemesis and your best friend at the same time. To make whiskey a character in a song, like a real-life character that you’re talking to, is something that I’d never heard before.
“I’m sure there are songs out there that have done that,” he adds, “but the way it was written, and what it said, was so heartfelt and meaningful.”
McGraw will have plenty of time to perform all of the songs from his new album next year, when he embarks on his Standing Room Only Tour in 2024, with Carly Pearce serving as his opening act for all dates.
“It’s the first time we’ve done an arena tour in a long time,” McGraw tells Entertainment Tonight. “I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got some crazy spectacular production I’m looking forward to everybody seeing. This is probably one of the coolest productions we’ve ever had. We’re gonna blow it out.”
Find all of McGraw’s music and upcoming shows, and pre-order Standing Room Only, at TimMcGraw.com.