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Faith, music and baseball

Country singer Tim McGraw talks about his marriage, his singing career and his dad — pitcher Tug McGraw in this week’s, “Backstage Pass,” for the “Toyota Concert Series on Today.”
/ Source: TODAY

Over the last decade, Grammy-award winner Tim McGraw has accumulated 20 number one hits. His latest album, “Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors” has already gone multi-platinum. NBC’s Matt Lauer profiles the country singer in “Today’s Backstage Pass.”

“I love baseball. I played ball my whole life. I guess 6-years-old is when I started playing. So, yeah I love playing.”

Tim McGraw’s love of the game is not surprising when you consider that his father, Tug McGraw, pitched for the 1969 “Miracle Mets.”

“I didn’t know my father until when I was 11, when I found out he was my dad. So we’ve had a pretty solid relationship and became friends. And he’s going through a battle right now — we’re all keeping positive about. Anybody that knows tug knows he’s got no problem keeping a positive attitude.”

While Tim shares a passion for baseball with his father a love of music is just one of the things he’s got in common with his wife, pop music diva, Faith Hill, whom he’s been married to since 1996.

“Faith and I we’re both busy with our careers and doing different things and traveling all over the place. We have a rule we try not to be apart for more than three days at a time if we can help it. Every now and then a crazy week comes along that breaks the rule, but for the most part we try to live by that.”

This is McGraw’s seventh studio album — eighth counting his greatest hits CD. All together, he has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.

I feel pretty confident in saying that this is the best record I’ve ever done.”

What makes this album different is that McGraw recorded it with his on-the-road band, the dancehall doctors, versus studio musicians. Some of the Dancehall Doctors have been with McGraw since his early days of playing clubs.

Tim wanted to camp out and cut this album like 70s rock groups, like Led Zeppelin and the Eagles — bands that influenced Tim while growing up. So after weeks of working on songs with his band in Nashville, they recorded most of the album in upstate New York in a 1920s mansion.

The album was also accompanied by the release of McGraw’s book, titled: “Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors: This Is Ours.” The book chronicles the making of the album and hit the New York times best seller list at #19.

With the completion of his 50 city tour this past spring and a CD comfortably at the top of the country music charts Tim McGraw comes back to “Today” for another performance.

“I think this is the third time we’ve done the summer concert series so we’re kind of use to the early hours. We’re probably better use to it then we were the first time the first time it was sort of a shock and seeing matt that early was a real shock. I had no idea he looked like that. I mean my god Matt!”