Tim McGraw’s Music Career Began in a Pawn Shop

He Gave Up His High School Ring to Get a Guitar

To make a living doing what you love, sacrifices must be made. And luckily for us, Tim McGraw wasn’t afraid to make those sacrifices.

From the moment he first stepped onstage back in college, he knew music was what he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing. So he got right down to the business of making that happen, and it required letting go of something he held dear — his high school ring.

“The first time I played in a club, my first year of college, I took my high school ring and pawned it and bought a guitar,” McGraw recalled in a recent interview. “And I learned how to play 50 songs over that summer and started playing for tips at the end of that summer, and I was hooked from then on.”

That’s a story fit for a country song — high school rings, pawning your possessions and memories so you can pursue your dreams and hopefully make even better memories. It doesn’t get much more inspiring than that.

It certainly kept McGraw focused on his goal to achieve country music stardom.

“I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he admitted.

And he did it. Almost 25 years later, he’s one of the most recognizable names, faces and voices in country music and in Hollywood, too.

McGraw’s massive Sundown Heaven town tour picks back up in Florida on July 11, and his new album is set for release on Sept. 16 and features his latest single “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” which features his superstar wife Faith Hill.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.