Tim McGraw is one of the most recognizable stars in country music. Since his hit album, Not A Moment To Soon, was released in 1994, McGraw has seen unmitigated success, playing for countless fans and releasing hits for multiple generations of country music. Although McGraw has been in the public eye for many years and he’s very open about his life on social media and in interviews, there are still things some people may not know about the superstar.
Here are 10 things you may not know about Tim McGraw.
- His last name used to be Smith.
Tim McGraw’s life story features a few twists and turns, including the fact that he didn’t meet his biological father until later in life. McGraw was born in Louisiana in 1967 and always believed his step-father, Horace Smith, was his real father. Therefore, he went through part of his life using Smith as his last name. When he found out Smith wasn’t his father and met his biological dad later in life, he changed his last name.
2. His dad was a big time baseball player.
This leads to the next fact that some may not know about McGraw, which is the identity of his biological father. As previously stated, McGraw believed for years that his father was Horace Smith, but when he found his birth certificate in a closet at age 11, he found out a whole different story. The certificate revealed that his father was professional baseball player Tug McGraw, who played for the Jacksonville Suns, the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies throughout his career. McGraw once told Larry King that he had a baseball card of his father on his wall before he even knew he was his father. When McGraw turned 18, he and his father started forming a relationship for the first time.
3. He followed in his father’s footsteps.
Even before McGraw knew his father was a professional baseball player, he was already exemplifying the baseball gene. He grew up playing baseball as a child, and attended Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship. However, before he could make a career out of baseball like his dad, he sustained a knee injury that stopped him from continuing to play the sport.
4. He majored in pre-law.
The country superstar we know as Tim McGraw today very well could have been an attorney. He originally attended college as a pre-law major after being inspired by watching the Al Pacino movie, Justice For All. However, his law career got cut short when he discovered guitar and college parties.
“I was going to go to law school and that was going to be the trajectory I was going to take in life,” McGraw once told CBC Radio. “Right off the bat in college, I picked up a guitar and started playing music. Then I started to learn how to float kegs at my fraternity,” he says. “So the law career started slowly drifting away.”
5. The day he moved to Nashville was an unforgettable day.
While McGraw attended school Louisiana, he started playing guitar and singing. He later transferred to Florida Community College at Jacksonville, where he began to sing with other bands. He finally dropped out of school in 1989 to pursue music full-time, and on the day he moved to Nashville, one his music heroes, Keith Whitley, unfortunately passed away. McGraw once shared that Whitley told the young singer to give him a call if he ever moved to Nashville. McGraw has since paid tribute to the late star, and in 2020, played Whitley’s hit, “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” on the country legend’s guitar at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
6. He has his pilot’s license.
Tim McGraw is part of the list of the celebrities who can fly themselves around to events. McGraw has his private pilot’s license and owns a Cirrus SR22 plane. He told Cleveland.com that one of the things that motivated him to fly was his sobriety.
“I always wanted to fly,” McGraw said. “I certainly spend a lot of time in airplanes, in jets, when I’m working.
“When I quit drinking, it was a good diversion, a good way to focus on something,” he added. ”It took a lot of my attention and thought process.’’
McGraw even passed his flying knowledge onto fellow country star, Chris Janson, allowing Janson to use his plane in order to learn for himself.
“I have my student pilot license now thanks to Tim McGraw,” Janson told CMT’s Cody Alan. “He’s the one who initially got me into flying. He actually lent me his plane for several trips to start learning.”
7. He is passionate about fitness and owns a gym.
McGraw has often been open about his healthy lifestyle which includes a strict workout regimen and diet. The singer says he decided to make a change in his life over ten years ago when he starred in the movie, Four Christmases and his daughter told him he looked “big on the screen.”
“I got out of it for a while,” he shared with Men’s Health. “I was in the prime of my career, and I wasn’t capitalizing on it.”
In 2019, he took his love for fitness to the next level by opening his own gym, called TRUMAV, in Nashville, TN.
8. He wears hats for a specific reason.
It’s hard to think about Tim McGraw without seeing him with his classic cowboy hat or baseball cap look. While wearing a cowboy hat is quintessentially country, he says there is a bigger reason he dons the look, and it has to do with the size of his head.
“Of course the cowboy hat is who I am in my music, but I’ve never been real comfortable with the way I looked without a hat,” McGraw once told PEOPLE. “I have what I call a ‘fivehead’. I don’t have a forehead, I have a ‘fivehead.’ I always felt that I had a really big head. But that’s one of those things about getting older – you get more comfortable with yourself.”
The first time fans might have seen McGraw without a hat are in his movie roles, like Flicka and The Blindside.
9. He and Faith Hill have a home in The Bahamas.
Tim McGraw and his family are big fans of the ocean. When he’s not on tour, the singer can often be found posting photos and videos of his various adventures on the water. McGraw and wife Faith Hill actually love the beach so much that own a home in The Bahamas that sits on their private, 20-acre island. The couple shared details about the building of their home with Architectural Digest in 2017. The couple says modernizing the island and building the home was an “undertaking,” and the home itself is made up of separate buildings that are connected by “open-air passageways.” The whole house features a bright and open-air design, which Hill says “blends into the environment.”
10. He gives back to charitable causes.
Since the beginning of his career, giving back to those who need it has been a theme Tim McGraw lives by. He has created and donated to many charitable causes, including one of his first events called Swampstock, which began in 1994 as a way to give back to hometown little league programs. He and Faith Hill also helped out in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by joining groups that took supplies to the area and organizing charity concerts to support those affected by the storm. Later, the couple created the Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation, which aims to assist those affected by such disasters or other crises. The two also jumped into action after the major flood that hit Nashville in 2010, organizing a charity concert called Nashville Rising, which raised funds for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.