After over three decades in the music industry, country superstar Tim McGraw maintains a remarkable sense of humility and kindness, despite his monumental success. ET’s Cassie DiLaura had the privilege of speaking with McGraw backstage at the Academy of Country Music Honors in August when he received the prestigious ACM Icon Award. Despite boasting dozens of chart-topping hits, 10 No. 1 country albums, and three GRAMMY Awards, McGraw candidly admitted to ET that he still grapples with feelings of being “undeserving” of such an esteemed honor.
With a hint of modesty, McGraw said, “On one hand, I feel like I’ve been doing it for a long time, but I feel like I’ve got a lot more to go. So I hope this isn’t, like, the capstone on my career, but I’m very appreciative.”
He emphasized his inclination away from being an “awards guy” but expressed profound gratitude for his devoted fans, fellow artists in the industry, and the inspiration he derives from other musicians. McGraw elaborated on how he learns something new every time he listens to a new record, and he eagerly anticipated the release of his forthcoming album, eagerly anticipating the response of his audience. He hopes to continually raise the bar and improve as an artist.
During the award ceremony, McGraw was joined by his wife of 27 years, Faith Hill, and two of their three daughters, who were present to celebrate his Icon Award. Despite the honor and recognition, McGraw couldn’t hold back his emotions when delivering his acceptance speech. He confessed that he deliberately avoided looking in their direction, as he tends to get teary-eyed during speeches. He reflected on the warm support of his family and expressed his relief at delivering his speech without succumbing to his emotions.
In a light-hearted manner, McGraw shared that his wife and daughters would inevitably revert to teasing him after the memorable evening. In his own words, “They’ll all give me a lot of crap for it for sure.” He humorously acknowledged his role as the “low man on the totem pole” in his family and playfully noted that he’s the least talented singer among his relatives.
The ACM Honors event was attended by a host of friends and collaborators who gathered to celebrate McGraw’s illustrious career, including artists like Brett Young and Nelly, with whom McGraw had an unexpected crossover hit in 2004 with “Over and Over.” McGraw expressed his admiration for Nelly and his desire to collaborate with him once more. He fondly reminisced about their groundbreaking collaboration, noting that nearly two decades ago, they were among the first to venture into that kind of cross-genre collaboration. He proudly mentioned that he had achieved a hip-hop number one, an accomplishment that brought immense pride and joy to his career.