Tim McGraw, who blasted his way out of the pack of '90s country solo artists with multi-platinum CDs and fistsful of #1 singles, was nominated for a whooping seven CMA Awards this year, more than any other nominee, taking home awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. McGraw has already sold more than 13 million albums and four million singles and achieved a record in country music when six singles from one album (Everywhere) hit the #1 spot on the charts. It was also the 1998 CMA Album of the Year.
McGraw was born in the aptly-named Start, Louisiana where music took a back seat to athletics in his early years. When a knee injury during his enrollment at Northeast Louisiana University ended his dreams of a professional sports career, he bought a guitar and started performing in area clubs. In 1989 he moved to Nashville, arriving the day his avowed musical role model Keith Whitley died. Two years later Tim was signed to Curb Records.
Not A Moment Too Soon, his second album released in 1994, proved to be his breakthrough, selling more than five million copies and garnering McGraw scores of awards and nominations. It was Billboard's sixth best-selling album of the year - regardless of genre - and 1994's best selling country album. That year he also became the first country artist in a decade to achieve two gold singles in less than three months with the somewhat politically incorrect "Indian Outlaw" and the ballad "Don't Take the Girl."
His next album, All I Want, sold more than three million copies and included "I Like It, I Love It," a single that stayed at the #1 position for five weeks. It was during his "Spontaneous Combustion Tour" supporting the CD that McGraw conducted his most successful promotion: wooing Faith Hill, his opening act. They were married in 1996 and now have two daughters.
1997 saw the release of Everywhere, the Byron Gallimore-James Stroud co-production and the collection of even more awards and accolades. In addition to the CMA Album of the Year, he also won the Association's Vocal Event of the Year award and four ACM Awards. The singles "It's Your Love" and "Just To See You Smile" each spent a record-breaking six weeks in Billboard's #1 spot.
McGraw's nominations this year are based on the release of his latest album, A Place in the Sun, and the mega-hit "Please Remember Me" written by Will Jennings and Rodney Crowell. "It's such a great song," McGraw said. "The musical track puts you in such a mood. That's what good music is supposed to do: create emotions".
On New Year's Eve, McGraw will be creating lots of emotions when he celebrates the beginning of the new millennium with his fourth annual "Blast" at the Nashville Arena. "It's going to be the biggest and best show we've ever done. We are pulling out all the stops." Spoken by someone who has already pulled out all the stops on the country music scene.