Nowadays in country music there are so many great examples of couples that are married and/or have kids. There’s Kailey and Russell Dickerson, Amber and Granger Smith, Haley and Tyler, and Brittney and BK. You can’t forget about the one couple most people talk about when it comes to couple goals – Thomas and Lauren. I mean let’s be honest, is there a better love song than Die A Happy Man?
But before all of them there was country royalty – and I’m not talking about Johnny and June. I’m talking about Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Their love story isn’t necessarily the one your read in fairytales, but more like a Nicholas Sparks book where there’s plenty of peaks and valleys mixed in with chance encounters.
Faith Hill grew up in Mississippi to a loving family that had adopted her. Once she turned 19 she decided to head to Nashville for a career in country music. Once there she fell in love with Daniel Hill who worked at a music production company. She took his last name which she still uses to this day. They were happily married for five years as she was trying to get her career off the ground. Soon she realized that marriage wasn’t what she wanted and the two got divorced.
Shortly after, she released her debut album Take Me As I Am in 1993, which was produced by Scott Hendricks. Sparks flew between the two of them and they were engaged a few years later. Fast forward to the year 1996 and what a year it was about to be for not only Faith Hill, but Tim McGraw. That year Faith Hill was the opening act on the “Spontaneous Combustion Tour,” headlined by none other than Tim McGraw. (Talk about the perfect tour name for what was about to happen between the two of them.)
Tim McGraw also grew up in the south, being born and raised in Louisiana. At nine, his parents divorced and Tim stayed with his mother as they bounced around from town to town. When Tim was 11 he found his birth certificate and soon discovered that the man he thought was his father, wasn’t actually his father. His real dad, Tug McGraw, was a famous relief pitcher for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
Soon Tim was off to college where he had plans to major in law. However, he spent too much time partying and not enough time studying that he realized he didn’t want to go to law school or finish college at all. He decided to take a chance and head to Nashville to pursue a singing career. While his first single “Indian Outlaw” caused some controversy his subsequent hits turned him into a country music star in the 1990s. During this time, Tim was dating his longtime girlfriend Kristine Donahue, but ended up breaking things off shortly before going on tour in 1996.
While on tour together, Tim and Faith obviously caught each other’s attention and there was an obvious connection between the two. While Tim was single at the time, Faith was engaged. That being said, they couldn’t hide the fact that they were attracted to each other and had real chemistry. After a show they shared a kiss together and soon after, Faith called off her engagement.
They were madly in love together and falling hard, fast. So fast in fact that same year, they found out that Faith was pregnant with their first child. Tim wanted to get married before the child was born so he asked Faith if she would marry him. She didn’t know if he was completely serious, but Tim insisted. While at a country music festival, Faith wrote “YES” in Sharpie on a mirror with a lipstick kiss mark, and Tim had his answer when he came off stage.
As for the wedding? They tricked their families into coming to Tim’s hometown in Louisiana for a softball game and concert, but the two ended up getting married instead. In the spring of 1997 they welcomed their first daughter – Gracie. They had their second daughter, Maggie, in 1998 and their third daughter, Audrey, in 2001.
Tim and Faith carried on with their music careers as they were the faces of country music in the 90s and 2000s. At the same time they were juggling raising a family of three and making sure that family came first. With both Tim and Faith coming from situations where family was a bit dysfunctional or led to questions, the way in which they raised their daughters was priority number one.
Tim said it best in an interview with The Washington Times. “I came from a dysfunctional, broken family growing up, and it’s probably instilled in me the need and want to have a strong family and great foundation.” In a CBS interview he added, “There’s no way that what we do isn’t going to infiltrate your life. But we try to keep it on the tour as much as possible.”
These days, with their girls being 16, 19, and 21, the two are back out on tour together on the second half of the Soul2Soul tour which included “For The Rest of Our Life,” a new album of nothing but new duets from the two. It doesn’t appear that they’re slowing down anytime soon.
Tim and Faith helped widen country music’s reach and created a whole new generation of country fans. They’re two of the most influential artists in all of country music and are looked up to by many artists that are getting their start in Nashville today. They’re going to continue to create new music in the coming years but not at the expense of their relationship and their family. They’re still very much passionate about country music and that’s all we can ask of them.
Tim and Faith put it best in their song “For the Rest of Our Life,” which is a nice preview for their next thirty years.
There’s one thing I should be killing off and giving up now
And that’s worrying about life
Oh, I’ll be fine
If one gray hair shows, I’ll be fine
If my waistline grows, I’ll be fine
Even if time takes its toll
We’ll stay young for the rest of our lives