Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are one of the most iconic couples in country music as well as Hollywood. The country superstars fell in love quickly while on tour and went on to form a bond that has captivated audiences and drawn fans into their shared lives as they raised three daughters and furthered each other's careers. Over the years, they have collaborated musically, starred onscreen together in Yellowstone prequel series 1883, and passed on their knack for singing to not one, but all three of their children.
Hill and McGraw's inspiring love story has been easy for fans to root for over the years, especially in the early years when they first got together. But fans might be surprised to know that Tim McGraw wasn't Hill's first love once she arrived in Nashville. In fact, he wasn't even her first husband.
When Hill first moved to Nashville, she fell in love with music executive Daniel Hill. The pair met when Faith was just 19 years old. The couple married and stayed together for five years, but after Faith met her birth mother and started thinking critically about her life, she realized she needed to move on. Though she kept her new last name, Hill, she pushed forward into her unknown future in the music business, leaving behind the comfort of the domestic life she had settled into.
Life Leading Up to Love
A year later, Hill released her first album as a country singer, Take Me As I Am, and started her reign as a chart-topper with "Wild One." Upon her second album's release, she joined the Spontaneous Combustion Tour in 1996, opening for none other than McGraw.
Like Hill, McGraw questioned his identity at a young age after finding out that his dad wasn't his biological father. Though his biological father's fame (Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw Jr. was a major league baseball player) gave him a slight edge when getting his first single released, the Louisiana native's star rose by his own volition with the release of Not A Moment Too Soon, which reached Top Country Album status in 1994.
At the start of the Spontaneous Combustion Tour, Hill was engaged to record producer Scott Hendricks, and some sources say that McGraw was planning to marry his long-term girlfriend. But the bond between the two musicians was so strong it led them both to reevaluate their current status and come to the conclusion that they couldn't live without one another.
"We were playing at a country music festival, and we had a trailer that was our dressing room," McGraw told The Boot . "I had a big mirror that was in there, and right before I went onstage, I wrote 'Will you be my wife?'... I mean, 'Will you marry me?' and I went onstage, and when I came offstage, she had written, 'I am going to be your wife, yes.' And so, we still have that mirror."
Creating a New Life As Partners
The pair wed on Oct.6, 1996, in Louisiana at McGraw's aunt Barbara's house. They started a family with the birth of their first daughter, Gracie, in 1997. They welcomed Maggie Elizabeth, their second daughter, in 1998. Their third was soon on her way in 2001, but due to medical complications, Audrey Caroline was born early via C-section, weighing only 3 pounds and 11 ounces. Her birth was a trying time for the country duo, who had to pull together even closer to endure the difficult hand they were dealt until Audrey grew healthier.
McGraw and Hill cite keeping family first as a means to maintain their healthy relationship and mutual respect for one another. "I think Tim and Faith came to the party as equals," Nashville star Gary Morris told Good Housekeeping. "It's apparent to me that they love each other more than they love their work."
During a 2023 interview with Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe, McGraw opened up about his family, covering everything from coping with all three of his daughters moving away from home to Hill's role in saving his now 30-year mainstream country run— if not his life— as he battled personal demons.
"I guarantee you, had I not gotten married to Faith at 29 years old A, I probably would've ran my career into the ground, and B, I would've died already with my career into the ground, one or the other, and it wouldn't have ever been where it's at now," McGraw said.
McGraw conquered alcoholism and has been sober since 2008.
"Well, I don't know if the maturity's occurred yet, but she put up with it for a while because I was pretty sneaky about it for a while," he explained. "But it was just overdoing stuff, and then I think when the kids got old enough that they could notice things is when she finally said, 'You've got to figure this out.'"
Making Music and Touring Together
The pair released several duets in the '90s: "It's Your Love," "Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" and "Let's Make Love," which even earned them a Grammy. In 2000, the unstoppable duo hit the road together again on the Soul2Soul Tour. The vast majority of the 65-date tour sold out, and each artist performed their own full sets focusing on their latest albums, which were McGraw's A Place In The Sun and Hill's Breathe.
Reprising the success of their first duet tour, they led another Soul2Soul Tour in 2007. For a while, the couple focused on their own music. But in 2017, McGraw and Hill came out with a duet album, The Rest of Our Life, as their first release with Sony Music Entertainment.
To coincide with their first-ever album together, they took to the road again with a third incarnation of the Soul2Soul World Tour. This time, the pair traveled the world with over 100 dates.
On a creative level, McGraw lauds Hill for always providing unfiltered advice about his music, including new album Standing Room Only.
"I'm always playing her the songs that I want to record and playing the mixes as I'll go along, and there's times we don't agree," he shared. "There's times where she goes, 'I don't like the way that sounds.' 'Well, I do, and that's way it's going to stay.' And the same thing when she's making a record. It's like, 'I think this should be your single.' She goes, 'No, I don't like that song. This is going to be the single.' I go, 'All right.' She's right about her stuff and I'm usually right about my stuff, but most of the time we agree."
27 Years of Marriage
On Oct. 6, 2023, the couple celebrated its 27th wedding anniversary. As he's wont to do, McGraw commemorated the occasion with a social media post. This time, he shared the first photo the couple ever took together.
"This is the very first picture ever taken of us, the very first time we ever met back in spring of 1994," McGraw wrote in the caption. "This was backstage of the 'New Faces' show at the Country Radio Seminar... I fell for you in an instant!
"Today is our 27th wedding anniversary and I fall for you every day, every time you walk into the room, every time I see you in our 3 beautiful daughters' smiles," he continued. "I just keep falling and always will. Happy anniversary my love!"
Years later, their bond remains strong. In 2017, McGraw told the Today Show, "In the car, I drive. In the relationship, she drives. We make decisions about things in different ways, but we always talk about it before we do it."
This article was originally published in March of 2018. It was updated on Oct. 11, 2023.
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