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One of the world's most popular country singers, Tim McGraw is married to fellow country crooner Faith Hill.
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The outcry also came as a surprise to the singer, since he had been closing his stage show with the tune for four years. Despite McGraw's explanation of his intentions, Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller sent a letter to stations claiming the song exhibited "crass exploitative commercialism at the expense of Indians," stating that it "promotes bigotry," according to a Billboard article by Peter Cronin. As a result, some radio stations in Arizona,
Nevada, Oklahoma, and Minnesota started refusing to play it. On the other hand, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians based in North Carolina wrote to McGraw's management company in support of the song.
Shortly after this brouhaha, McGraw's second album was released. Not a Moment Too Soon became the number one country hit in its first week on the charts. Also, three more singles off the effort topped the charts in addition to "Indian Outlaw." The album and the number one single "Don't Take the Girl," a melodramatic ballad, racked up awards from the likes of the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Television. McGraw was also named best new country artist by Billboard and others. Not a Moment Too Soon hugged the top spot on the country album chart for 26 consecutive weeks and sold about eight million copies over the next few years. Immediately, McGraw was catapulted from playing honky-tonks to embarking on a major headlining tour.
The following year, in September 1995, McGraw released All I Want. Though it was an attempt to show more serious musicianship, the first single released was the jaunty "I Like It, I Love It." As he explained to Deborah Evans Price in Billboard, "It was a cool, fun, back- to-school song. It doesn't really say a lot. We put it out because it's a fun sing-along song, and it will call attention to some of the meat songs on the album that I really want people to hear." The song stayed at number one for five weeks and the album sold three million copies, but McGraw was largely passed over at the 1996 awards ceremonies.
Still, 1996 saw the successful Spontaneous Combustion tour, which featured country singer Faith Hill as the opening act. By the end of the tour, McGraw's personal life was sizzling as well, and he asked Hill, who has a laundry list of country music awards herself, to marry him. They were on tour at the time in Montana, and he popped the question in his dressing room, which was housed in a trailer. He later reminisced about the event in an interview with People magazine: "She said, 'I can't believe you're asking me to marry you in a trailer house,' and I said, 'Well, we're country singers, what do you expect?'"
Hill later accepted McGraw's proposal by writing "yes" on a mirror in his trailer while he was on stage, and the couple married on October 6, 1996. Their daughter, Gracie, was born in 1997, and another daughter, Maggie, was born the following year.
In the meantime, McGraw began to diversify in order to have options in case his popularity bottomed out.
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