Tim McGraw has been married to wife and fellow country singer Faith Hill since October, 1996, and the couple just celebrated 23 years of marriage this year. McGraw and Hill first connected in 1994 at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, according to This Insider. They were both new to the country music scene and performed in the “New Faces” tent show during the seminar.
The couple had an immediate connection, but Hill was just finalizing a divorce to former husband Daniel Hill, and McGraw was in a relationship with Kristine Donahue, so the two only sparked up a friendship during that first meeting. They didn’t reconnect until 1996, and began dating shortly after. Here’s what we know about McGraw and Hill’s marriage:
Hill Called Off Her Engagement to be With McGraw
The couple reconnected in 1996 when Hill opened for McGraw during his “Spontaneous Combustion Tour.” Both singers admit that sparks were flying during that second meeting; McGraw was newly single after breaking off his engagement to Donahue, and although Hill was engaged to record producer Scott Hicks at the time, she admits that there was chemistry between herself and McGraw.
After singing together every night on stage during the tour, the country singers couldn’t deny their feelings. According to an interview with People in 2000, one night after a show, McGraw invited Hill into his dressing room and kissed her. “I couldn’t stand it anymore,” he told the publication. “I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in hell. I thought she was way out of my league.” Hill said she was shocked, but that “it was nice,” and McGraw added that things “snowballed” from there.
Shortly after, Faith called off her engagement to Hicks and the two began dating. “If someone is going to judge my character because I was engaged to somebody and then I left him for somebody else — ‘Oh, okay, now she’s a slut and a bad person’ — I can’t control that. But I wasn’t about to let Tim slip through my hands,” she told People.
Hill admitted that she’s been at the center of some pretty wild rumors, but that she doesn’t let them bother her. “I’ve had an affair with my makeup artist, a female; an affair with my hairstylist; my marriage is on the rocks; Maggie is not Tim’s child. The naysayers. I don’t need their approval. I have too much going on. If that’s their entertainment, fine.”
McGraw Proposed to Hill in June, 1996 While Performing in Colorado
McGraw proposed to Hill later that same year after Hill called off her engagement to Hicks. The two were performing in Colorado when McGraw dropped to his knee and asked Hill to marry him, according to BRIDES.
“We were in the dressing room, here, June 26, 1996, and it was raining and stuff and we’d been on tour for a while together, and I joked around with her about getting married,” McGraw told his audience in Colorado, according to the publication. “And so I said … I looked at her, grabbed her by the hand, and dropped forward [on my knees] onstage. She had already done her show. And I said, ‘I’m really serious. I want you to marry me.’” The songstress laughed in response. “She said, ‘We’re at a country music festival in a trailer house, and you’re asking me to marry you? And I said, ‘Yeah.’”
During his performance, Hill gave him her answer. “I had in my dressing room… this foldout case that had a mirror in it that was my dressing armoire,” McGraw said. “I still have it to this day. When I came back offstage, [I saw] a Sharpie with lipstick kisses all over it, saying, ‘Yes! I’m gonna be your wife.’ It had, ‘I love you’ with big lipstick kisses. And this is the place right here.”
The Two Married in October, 1996 in Rayville, Lousiana
The couple didn’t waste any time tying the knot after McGraw’s proposal. The two invited their guests to a softball game and concert in McGraw’s hometown of Rayville, Louisiana and surprised them by getting married instead, according to BRIDES.
Hill was three months pregnant with their first daughter Gracie at the time, and wore a simple white dress and no shoes for the ceremony. McGraw wore jeans and a black coat and the two stood under an oak tree with a minister to say their vows.