Tim McGraw has done what few artists, of any genre, have done: maintained a steady, busy career for three decades, while not showing any signs of slowing down. The Louisiana native had his first Top 10 hit in 1994, with “Indian Outlaw,” and has maintained a strong presence, both on the charts and with successful concert tours, in the years since then.
While a lot of it can be attributed to hard work and a strong business sense, not to mention musical talent, the 56-year-old also credits his success to timing, becoming part of the country music genre right at the cusp of a powerful growth in popularity.
“I, Faith [Hill] and others arrived in country music at a time when the genre was prepared to explode in popularity,” McGraw tells The Tennessean. “Carrying forward the work artists like Garth Brooks and George Strait did to expose the world to country music has stuck with the genre and expanded the scope of reach we’re allowed to have as artists.”
McGraw just released “Hey Whiskey,” one of 13 songs on his forthcoming Standing Room Only album, out on August 25. Like every project he has released since he and Hill married in 1996, McGraw has relied heavily on his superstar wife, even if they don’t always agree on his choices.
“Faith is invaluable to me in every way,” McGraw says. “But creatively, I trust her ears 100 percent. She still hears rough mixes of everything I record before anyone else does. And she’s a tough judge to please. She hasn’t liked even some of my hits when she heard them the first time. The beauty of all of this is that we love each other, trust each other’s instincts and glean everything we can out of each other to make our projects better.”
McGraw and Hill have not only sung several duets together, but they also star in the hit Paramount+ TV show, 1883. For someone whose career has outlasted several artists, even those who came well after him, the father of three hints there is still a lot he has to do creatively before he even thinks of slowing down.
“Faith and I are enormous Yellowstone fans, so getting to do 1883 was unexpected — but exciting,” McGraw shares. “This season of my life feels no different than a decade ago when people believed I had [reached the pinnacle] of my career. I feel blessed to be in a place where I’m at the peak of my career in all [realms of entertainment]. I have a lot of gas left in my tank.”
McGraw’s latest single, “Standing Room Only,” is currently in the Top 15, proof that McGraw can still evolve, still grow, and still be relevant in an industry that he has been part of for the majority of his life.
“Having a song out right now like ‘Standing Room Only’ is great because I’m still a fan of songs at heart, who listens to three new songs a day from songwriters, and I’m still actively writing my own material,” McGraw says.. [“‘Standing Room Only’] is one of those songs that has improved every step along the way that is a mid-tempo power ballad that both has energy but also profound lyricism.”
All of McGraw’s music and upcoming shows can be found at TimMcGraw.com.