Tim McGraw Still Fights To Be the Best in Country Music

Tim McGraw still wants to win. The 56-year-old released his first single, “What Room Was the Holiday In,” in 1991, and although that single failed to chart, he quickly found his stride with early songs like “Indian Outlaw,” “Don’t Take the Girl,” “I Like It, I Love It,” and more.

Now, more than 30 years later, McGraw still likes that feeling of being on top, a lot, and it’s a good thing too. He’s back in the Top 10 with “Standing Room Only,” the title track of his just-released new album. And still, in spite of decades of successes, McGraw is always fighting and striving to be the very best that he can be.

“I still want to win the equivalent of the Super Bowl with every single I’m putting out,” he tells The Tennessean.

McGraw worked hard to make Standing Room Only a positive, feel-good set of tunes. It was a record he originally thought he would write more for, until his songwriting friends found a way to articulate the emotions and thoughts he was trying to convey, in a way that maybe he could not.

“Songs keep finding me and I’ve also now discovered the ability to dig deeper into myself as an honest and natural interpreter of lyrics,” McGraw explains.

McGraw once again teamed up with his longtime producer, Byron Gallimore, for Standing Room Only, working yet again to make the best album of his career — until the next one.

“I’m still a hard-working songwriter playing my guitar who loves iconic country songs,” McGraw admits. “When I’m sitting at the mixing board with Byron, and we hear an undeniable song that we’ve developed, it fires up my competitive juices and the old athlete that I am wants to take the field.”

With his longevity in country music, and no plans to slow down anytime soon, the Louisiana native knows exactly what he wants to accomplish, and the kind of artist he still wants to be.

“Some people can sing at you or tell you how they feel in a song,” McGraw shares. “But few ever master the art of telling a story that conveys to people their emotions and makes them accurately feel an emotion they were trying to feel until they heard your song. That’s the magic I’m chasing these days.”

McGraw will embark on his Standing Room Only Tour in 2024, with Carly Pearce serving as his opening act for all dates. Find all of McGraw’s music and upcoming shows at TimMcGraw.com.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of CMA / Hunter Berry