Following the 2008 wedding of hip-hop titan Jay-Z and R&B goddess Beyonce, there can be little doubt which pairing of married stars ranks as the music world's greatest power couple. But if marital longevity is factored into the formula in addition to star power and sheer commercial might, then Mr. Carter and Ms. Knowles would have to take a back seat to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. However long the marriage of those two country superstars may yet last, their wedding on this day in 1996 created one of the most commercially successful pairings the world of popular music has ever seen.
Born just five months apart in May and September of 1967, respectively, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill followed similar paths to stardom and arrived there at nearly the exact same time. Both were raised in the South—McGraw in Delhi, Louisiana, and Hill (born Audrey Faith Perry) in Ridgeland, Mississippi—and both left college short of graduation to pursue their careers in music in Nashville in the late 1980s. In 1993, both released a debut album, though only Hill’s was an unqualified success. Take Me As I Am reached #7 on the country album charts on the strength of the #1 country single, “Wild One,” and Hill was honored as the Top New Female Vocalist at the 1993 Academy of Country Music Awards. McGraw’s breakthrough came only slightly later, with his sophomore album Not A Moment Too Soon, which topped both the country album chart and the Billboard 200 pop album chart, yielding two #1 country singles in “Don’t Take The Girl” and the title track, “Not A Moment Too Soon.” McGraw, in turn, was awarded the Top New Male Vocalist Award at the 1994 Academy of Country Music Awards in addition to taking home Album of the Year honors.
Two years later, both Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were well-established superstars when they chose to team up on their “Spontaneous Combustion” tour in early 1996. Already engaged to another man at the outset of the tour, opening act Faith Hill had a new fiancée in headliner Tim McGraw before the tour came to an end. The two were wed in a small family ceremony in McGraw’s native Louisiana on October 6, 1996, and according to published reports, they have not spent more than three consecutive days apart since.
Collectively, they have also had an astonishing 12 #1 albums and 25 #1 singles on the country charts since their marriage, in addition to three daughters.