Tim McGraw is a modern country music icon. If you’re new to the genre, chances are you have heard his name before because he’s known as that country crooner who’s also a hunky husband and one of the best role model celebrity fathers out there. Young and successful singers of today grew up to Tim McGraw songs. Other artists even reference his name, like big star Taylor Swift in her earlier hit song.
Choosing a handful of songs for this list is a piece of cake that’s hard to swallow. It’s easy because we have many options and challenging because we have A LOT of options. Nevertheless, we have the best of the best 15 Tim McGraw songs for you to listen to right now.
1. “Live Like You Were Dying”
Tim McGraw has both a colorful and adventurous music career. That said, the singer proves he can still deliver hit songs. For this piece, “Live Like You Were Dying,” the story was created out of Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman’s insights, who had a mutual friend suffering from a life-threatening illness but learned to only be a misdiagnosis. They thought about that incident and asked themselves what they would do if they only have limited time left to live. Tim McGraw was one of the first few artists who had heard the song and instantly connected with it. In 2003, his father, Tug McGraw, was hospitalized due to a brain tumor and later died on January 5, 2004. Six months later, the song shot to No. 1 and bagged a Grammy plus a CMA Song of the Year awards.
2. “If You’re Reading This”
The most poignant among Tim McGraw songs to date is this emotional piece written from the point of view of a fallen soldier. McGraw happened to come across a magazine feature about the casualties of war. With this inspiration, he sat down and wrote the song “If You’re Reading This” with The Warren Brothers. Moreover, the most unforgettable performance of this song happened in the 2007 ACM Awards, where they invited one hundred relatives of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country.
3. “Humble and Kind”
From the country crooner’s 2015 Damn Country Music album, the hit song “Humble and Kind” launched a movement where the ace songwriter Lori McKenna wrote this piece as a message of life wisdom to her children. It’s one of the most impactful songs of the hitmaker because of its achievements such as being certified platinum, hitting the No. 1 spot on the charts, winning Song of The Year at the CMA Awards, bagging Best Country Song at the Grammy Awards, and turning the track into a book.
4. “Don’t Take The Girl”
Story songs are one of the most popular categories in country music. That’s why the song “Don’t Take The Girl” had gained a following when it was released in 1994 after McGraw’s breakthrough hit “Indian Outlaw.” It tells the tale of little Johnny, who takes you for a spin with his life events from childhood learning to falling in love to testing his faith after a tragedy. After listening to this song, you’ll know why it’s a must-have on the list of the best Tim McGraw songs.
5. “Angry All The Time”
Together with his wife Faith Hill, the duo has churned out a heartwrenching song effectively. A song cover of Bruce Robinson’s composition, “Angry All The Time” made Tim McGraw lament about a relationship that will bite the dust soon. His voice embodies the melancholic melody and delivers surprisingly real emotions that made fans worry whether the power couple is going through a rough time. Fortunately, it was all just for the song, and they are one hundred percent happy together.
6. “Grow Men Don’t Cry”
Another emotional song from the country legend, “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” is part of Tim McGraw’s Set This Circus Down album released in 2001. This was his first single in the album that was written by Tom Douglas and Steve Seskin. Listeners love it so much that it became a radio favorite and helped reach it to No. 1 on the Billboards Hot Country Singles Chart and No. 25 on the Billboard’s Hot 100.
7. “It’s Your Love”
The power couple’s happily ever after reflects on this song. When they got married in 1996, fans are ecstatic to add another powerhouse duo since George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Everyone rooted for them from the beginning, and this duet is like a gift to their listeners and supporters. Also, it’s a blessing that they have a tremendous public relationship, unlike other couples in the industry.
8. “I Need You”
Love is in the air with this song! It also deserves a spot on this list because of its impact on the couple’s loyal fans. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s chemistry alone is iconic. Granted that “I Need You” is not their biggest hit song, but let’s give points to this Tony Lane and David Lee ballad for being unique and rough around the edges, unlike their slick declarations of love songs.
9. “Highway Don’t Care”
The country icon’s 2013 album Two Lanes of Freedom scored his third straight hit single with “Highway Don’t Care.” After winning an artist lawsuit against Curb Records, he gained his artistic freedom and released the album via Big Machine Records. It’s a dramatic track that features vocals from Taylor Swift and Keith Urban on the guitar. In addition to the guest artists, this hit song is McGraw’s way to another crossover success.
10. “Somethin’ Like That”
Do you know what’s the most played song on country radio through the entire decade of 2000-2010? Well, the answer is this hit song by Tim McGraw. “Somethin’ Like That” made its mark on the country music industry. It’s the anthem for memories of first love that’s popular among teenagers. With a rock sound, the young adults experiencing their own first love can totally relate.
11. “Southern Voice”
You may pass this song as a cliche country song if you’re not from the South or is not familiar with its history. But if you know the South or live in it, the references to Dolly Parton, Martin Luther King, Hank Aaron, Bear Bryant, and even Pocahontas will make you beam with pride.
12. “My Next Thirty Years”
Released in the summer of 2000, “My Next Thirty Years” is a track penned by Phil Vassar. When the country icon was 34 years old, he promised himself to raise a little family and hang out with his wife. Well, he was already fulfilling that promise during that time together with his wife, Faith Hill. The song stayed for five weeks at the No. 1 spot.
13. “Please Remember Me”
One of the most compelling of Rodney Crowell’s classic song covers happened to be Tim McGraw’s “Please Remember Me.” The country legend included it on his 1999 A Place In The Sun album backed by Patty Loveless’s powerful vocals. It’s a song made especially for the people who are mourning the loss of a loved one or ending a relationship.
14. “How I’ll Always Be”
Traditional-slanted performance is what Tim McGraw does. “How I’ll Always Be” is evidence of how the hunky singer stays true to the traditional country music nature and his commitment to the ways of the past icons in the music scene. This song definitely took notes on Merle Haggard’s playbook.
15. “Just To See Your Smile”
It looks like Tim McGraw knows how to reach the top and stay there to break records. During his “Just To See Your Smile” era, McGraw successfully made the hit track remain on the charts for 42 weeks! At that time (and even now), that is an awe-inspiring achievement. It’s a sad and emotional song about a man loving enough to let go.
These are all the best 15 Tim McGraw songs that could pass from generation to generation.