Reporting Kurt Wolff
Tim McGraw is not afraid of turning 50. Having just reached age 46 on May 1, the country star told CBS This Morning’s Gayle King in an interview today (May 17) that he’s even “looking forward” to that impending milestone.
“I hear that it’s the best time of your life,” he says. “So I’m getting prepared for my 50s.”
And based on Tim’s accomplishments of late, he has no reason to be anxious about that half-century mark. He’s in arguably the best physical shape of his life; he’s got three wonderful daughters with wife Faith Hill; and he’s just put out a strong new album, Two Lanes of Freedom, for a brand-new label.
It’s his 12th studio album in a recording career that has stayed strong and grown stronger since his debut 20 years ago.
Does he feel that Two Lanes is actually his best album to date? “I think so,” he says, adding, “I think I always feel that way. I look at every album as a progression from the last album.”
On top of everything else — including a headlining summer tour that kicked off earlier this month – he’s the subject of a television special airing this Sunday on CBS. Titled Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night, it’s a two-hour concert extravaganza featuring Tim performing alongside such guests as John Fogerty, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry,Jason Aldean, his wife Faith, and ACM Entertainer of the Year winner Luke Bryan.
The show features a series of collaborations, too, including Florida Georgia Line with Nelly, and McGraw performing with Pitbull and Ne-Yo.
“I love singing with Ne-Yo,” McGraw tells Gayle King. “He’s made me a better singer.”
His collaboration on the song “Highway Don’t Care” with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban was something different, too.
“I wanted to sing with Taylor for a while,” he says. “The toughest part was finding a song that wasn’t really a ‘love song.’ And when I heard this song, with that part in it, it was perfect.”
In “Highway Don’t Care,” Taylor is heard as a voice on the radio as the main character is driving. Which, in retrospect, makes it something of an answer song to Taylor’s 2006 single “Tim McGraw” — a song where Tim served as an unintentional third person in the narrative. “It does tie back to the same sort of theme that her song had,” Tim admitted in an earlier Radio.com interview. “I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about it that way.”
Speaking of “Tim McGraw,” King wonders, what did Tim think when he first heard that song?
“When I first heard it? I thought, ‘Have I gotten that old?’ Then I realized she was like 14, and wrote it in math class. I felt a little better about it then.”