Country star Tim McGraw has won dozens of awards for his music, but when he thinks about his purpose on earth, his mind goes to his wife, Faith Hill, and their daughters.
In a recent interview with Sunday TODAY, Willie Geist asked the musician about his new album, "Here on Earth," saying, "You sing in the song beautifully about this moment we all have where you close your eyes and it hits you, 'This is why I'm here on Earth.' Do you remember that moment for you?"
The father of three, 53, responded, laughing, "Well, I certainly remember that moment when I met my wife. That's for sure."
He continued: "But I think for everyone ... those things happen where you realize what you're doing and why you're doing it and what you're here for. The fathers out there can appreciate the first time that you hold your child is certainly the moment that you realize that anything else that you do has meant nothing until this moment."
He also shared that performing with Hill, 52, played a role in the development of his new album, released on Aug. 21.
"I've found that the times that I've spent working with Faith, especially touring with Faith, that my records got sort of exponentially better," he explained. "When it comes to singing with Faith, it's like a NASCAR trying to keep up with an Indy car."
McGraw joked that Hill lets him know when he's not up to par on stage, as well.
"Then I get that look from her sometimes during the middle of the show with her. You know, 'You're faltering a bit, son,'" he quipped. "The point is she makes me better."
The conversation later turned to the couple's daughters, Gracie, 23, Maggie, 22, and Audrey, 18. The older two are already out of school, and the youngest is getting ready to start college in the fall, making McGraw and Hill empty nesters.
"It's tough," McGraw said. "You want them to go out and conquer the world and have fun and do all the things that kids do. But you don't want them to leave your protection, and you certainly don't want to feel like they don't need you anymore."
He explained that the coronavirus epidemic has added a little extra stress to his parenting.
"In these times, it's a little different," he continued. "Not knowing what's going to happen with college with our youngest daughter, for her, it's not been so good. But for us, it's been sort of a blessing because you never see them that much."
"I have spurts of yard work energy. I did a lot of it growing up, and because I worked, I spent a lot of time working at a plant nursery as a kid," he told Willie, adding that he gets even more done before his daughters come home.
"The two in California were driving cross country to come home, so Faith wanted me to get the yard looking pretty decent before when the girls rolled up," he recalled.
Like many of us right now, McGraw said he's learning to navigate changes to his work life.
"I've spent 30 years in this business, and you get to where it sometimes, it can be a grind. But as you get older, sometimes you're like, 'Man, I wish I just had six months off.' You know, take a breath. And then, when that comes, when it's forced upon you, I hate it. I've worked my whole life and now I want to go back to work," he laughed.