Tim McGraw Quit Partying After "Realizing You're Gonna Lose Everything You Have"

"When your wife tells you it's gone too far, that's a big wake-up call," McGraw says in the new issue of Men's Health

By Bruna Nessif Jun 18, 2014 2:16 AMTags
Tim McGrawRick Diamond/Getty Images

Tim McGraw is one of country music's favorite cowboy, but the singer is a rockstar at heart.

The 47-year-old crooner admits that he was once pretty heavy into the drinking and partying, but he quit all of that after "realizing you're gonna lose everything you have." And he's not talking about money or his career. McGraw was referencing the four women in his life—his wife Faith Hill and three daughters Gracie, 17, Maggie, 15, and Audrey, 12.

"When your wife tells you it's gone too far, that's a big wake-up call," McGraw says in the new issue of Men's Health. "That, and realizing you're gonna lose everything you have. Not monetarily, not career-wise, but family-wise."

He continued, "It got to the point where my kids were getting older, and it was way past the point that they noticed it. And I noticed that they noticed. That's enough to straighten you out...I drank too much. I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but..use your imagination."

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McGraw even compared his behavior to late country singer Keith Whitley, who died of alcohol poisoning in 1989. "Keith Whitley taught me how demons can overtake you if you let 'em. And I was headed down that path. You feel like you're supposed to be 'on' all the time. Then you drink and get onstage, and all of a sudden you feel confident and powerful," he said.

"It becomes a habit. Up until seven years ago, there were not a lot of shows that I didn't have something in my system."

During the June 6 episode of Oprah's Master Class, the 47-year-old became emotional when speaking about the love of his life. "The chances that we've gotten to tour together, sing together, I mean, how many people get to do that in their lives?"

"I think about the fact that we're married and the fact that we raised these three beautiful daughters. And then I think about having three daughters and having [Hill] for their mom," McGraw added, shortly before tearing up. "It's a pretty cool thing for those girls to have her."