Hailed as the prime successor to Garth Brooks in the new millennium -- both for his rousing, Southern-fried honky tonk tunes and his laid-back countrypolitan ballads -- country and western performer Tim McGraw shot to fame on the basis of his sophomore recording, the 1994 Curb release Not a Moment Too Soon, which sold over five million copies and heralded the arrival of a major new superstar. Each additional album confirmed this status, and McGraw peaked critically and commercially with the 2004 Live Like You Were Dying. He gained additional acclaim from his high-profile marriage to Southern belle Faith Hill, also a chart-topping country singer; the two often headlined concerts and tackled interviews together. Coincident with Dying's release, McGraw opted to branch out from music videos into dramatic turns. He was particularly effective as an obnoxious, abusive, narrow-minded father in the Billy Bob Thornton-headlined sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), and as a loving, supporting dad in the 2006 family-oriented drama Flicka (2006). McGraw would find continual opportunities to branch into acting in the years to come, appearing in movies like The Kingdom, Four Christmases, The Blind Side, and Country Song.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- At age 11, discovered that his biological father was Major League Baseball pitcher Tug McGraw.
- Attended Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship, but dropped out in 1989 to pursue a music career.
- In 2004, made his film debut in the high-school football drama Friday Night Lights, playing an abusive father.
- Won the 2004 People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Musical Performer.
- Paired with rap star Nelly for the No. 1 ballad "Over and Over" in 2004.
- Sang a duet, "Me and Tennessee," with Gwyneth Paltrow for the film Country Strong (2010), in which he played her husband; Paltrow's real-life husband, Coldplay's Chris Martin, wrote the song.
- Organized, along with wife Faith Hill, the fundraising event Nashville Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Recovery in 2010.