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Tim McGraw's difficult childhood and relationship with parents

The 1883 star has persevered

tim mcgraw childhood© Photo: Getty Images
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
August 17, 2022
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Tim McGraw is a family man through and through, raising his three daughters Gracie, Audrey, and Maggie with the help of wife Faith Hill.

MORE: Tim McGraw sends 1883 fans wild with unexpected throwback photo from set

However, the country star had a fraught childhood of his own, involving struggling to make ends meet at times and a difficult family structure.

VIDEO: The true story behind how Tim McGraw and Faith Hill fell in love

He was raised by his mother Betty and stepfather Horace Smith, with two younger half-sisters from their marriage.

Tim has commended his mother for raising him and his sisters when times were tough, given she had him quite young and didn't get to graduate high school as a result.

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"I'm so proud of her," he said in an Instagram video on her birthday. "She worked her butt off, working three jobs when we were kids and raising me and my sisters. I think she did a pretty good job."

However, it was when he was 11 years old that things really changed when Tim discovered that his biological father wasn't Horace as he had believed, but former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies baseball player, Tug McGraw.

tim mcgraw mother© Photo: Getty Images

Tim's mother struggled to raise him and his sisters

"I think a lot of people don't realize I didn't grow up with Tug," he told Today in 2019. "I didn't know Tug was my dad. I found my birth certificate when I was 11 years old.

"We didn't have a whole lot, and I was in my mom's closet, I was digging through something and found my birth certificate. It said McGraw. My name was Smith as a kid because my stepdad's name was Horace Smith."

A young Tim initially tried to establish a relationship with his father, but Tug denied parentage until his son was 18 years old. It was at that point that the two steadily built a relationship, eventually becoming close till Tug's death from lung cancer in 2004.

MORE: The true story behind how Tim McGraw and Faith Hill fell in love

MORE: Tim McGraw pays special tribute to famous father with rare family insight

Even before realizing who his father was, Tim had even developed an affinity for baseball, playing all the way till the college level, getting into Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship.

However, a knee injury he sustained soon after ended what could've been a professional career in sports, which did lead him to pursue his other interest - music.

tim mcgraw father© Photo: Getty Images

The singer didn't develop a relationship with his famous father till he was 18

Tim has since spoken highly of his parents and the struggles it took to reach his current level of success, having made it all the better. 

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