Chem­istry on­stage boosts Faith and Tim tour

The Commercial Appeal - - Sunday Break - KRISTIN M. HALL

LAS VE­GAS - The love story of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill started on a tour two decades ago, and that sparkling chem­istry on­stage has made them one of the genre’s biggest head­lin­ers.

The coun­try cou­ple with movie star glam­our have sold over 63 mil­lion al­bums in the U.S. be­tween their two ca­reers, have earned two Gram­mys for duets they sang to­gether and have three chil­dren.

This year, they are re­leas­ing their first-ever duet al­bum to­gether and started the third in­stall­ment of their highly suc­cess­ful Soul2Soul World Tour (it was launched last week).

“I haven’t been on a stage like this in 10 years, and that is no lie,” Hill said of the tour. “I can tell you right now I am fired up.”

Dur­ing an Associated Press in­ter­view with the cou­ple be­fore their re­hearsal at the Academy of Coun­try Mu­sic Awards in Las Ve­gas ear­lier this month, Hill and McGraw were giddy with an­tic­i­pa­tion.

“She’s ready to turn it loose,” McGraw said.

“Age is not an is­sue,” added Hill, who to­gether with her hus­band will be turn­ing 50 dur­ing the tour that runs through Oc­to­ber.

The Mis­sis­sippi-born Hill and the Louisiana-born McGraw fell in love when she opened for him on his 1996 Spon­ta­neous Com­bus­tion tour, and they mar­ried that year.

In 2000, the first Soul2Soul tour grossed $48.8 mil­lion, mak­ing it the best-gross­ing coun­try tour in North Amer­ica that year, ac­cord­ing to Poll­star. The Soul2Soul II tour was even more suc­cess­ful, gross­ing $88.8 mil­lion in 2006, which made it the third-high­est-gross­ing North Amer­i­can tour that year.

McGraw cred­ited their suc­cess on the road to the fact that they are very dif­fer­ent singers who push each other to ex­pand their ranges on­stage.

“Faith, I would say, is more of an R&B, sort of gospel-in­spired singer,” McGraw said. “And I think I am more a ’70s rock, arena rock, Merle Hag­gard meets arena rock kind of singer. She brings me a lit­tle bit more to the R&B side, and I bring her more to the arena rock side, and I think it cre­ates a sort of magic.”

CHRIS PIZZELLO / INVISION / AP

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw per­form “Speak to a Girl” at the 52nd an­nual Academy of Coun­try Mu­sic Awards in Las Ve­gas.

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