Tim McGraw has had a steady career for more than three decades, an impressive feat in any genre of music. The 56-year-old was honored with the ACM Icon Award at the recent ACM Honors ceremony, where he praised all of those who have helped him along the way, including his wife, Faith Hill.
“This is not an individual award. Everybody who’s crossed my path is a part of this award. It’s made me who I am,” McGraw said at the beginning of the acceptance speech, admitting he might struggle because he is a “weeper.”
“Music can change a life, or save a life. I know it’s saved mine probably more than once. And it’s tried to kill me a couple times as well,” McGraw said with a laugh, before thanking those who have helped him along the way, including his mother, his sisters and Hill.
“My world changed the day I met Faith Hill … You’re my partner in life, you’re my partner musically,” McGraw said, his voice heavy with emotion. “And how blessed I am. I would not be where I am today, without you and your grace. I love you unconditionally.”
McGraw went on to praise his three daughters, acknowledging how hard it must have been to be raised by two celebrity parents.
“I’m so proud of the women you’ve become,” he boasted, “and I love you so much.”
McGraw also reflected on how much country music impacted every part of his life, both personally and professionally, throughout his entire life.
“I’ve been doing this for 30-plus years: making music and recording records and doing this for a living, playing my music for a living,” said the singer. “It’s been so good to me. I always tell everybody that country music has given me everything good that’s come in my life. I mean, I would not have met my wife without country music.
“I would not have my three daughters without country music,” he continued. “I would not be able to do movies. I would not be able to do TV shows. I wouldn’t do all the things that I’ve been able to do without country music. So it’s been very good to me.”
Ahead of receiving his award, which was presented to him by Nelly, the Louisiana native spoke about the honor, and his uncertainty that he was the right person for the award.
“I feel unworthy in a lot of ways,” McGraw said. “I mean, I feel like I have so much left to go, you know, so much left to do in my career. And there’s so many other people who are well deserving of this honor. And to me, it feels like this isn’t an individual honor. This is an honor that everybody that’s crossed paths with me throughout my life, for the better or for the worse, has played a part in the culmination of this event. So I’m pretty fortunate.”
McGraw’s latest album, Standing Room Only, is out now. He will embark on his Standing Room Only Tour in March, with Carly Pearce serving as his opening act for all dates. Alll of his music and upcoming shows can be found at TimMcGraw.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images for ACM Honors